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Monday, July 27, 2020

Buttercup Cookies

A year ago this month, we joined family members in Iceland for the burial of our little grand daughter Sóley. Recently I've comforted myself when marking anniversaries of the loss of loved ones by cooking something they enjoyed eating. I'm unable to do that so I found a recipe that represents a buttercup bloom to me, for that is what her name means in Icelandic.  


Buttercup Cookies

Cook's Country (Hazelnut-Lemon Curd Kisses)
20-24 cookies

altitude changes for around 5000 feet:

add 1 T flour
decrease the sugar by 1 teaspoon

(Once I baked these and forgot to make altitude changes. They were still good, although slightly more fragile.)

1 c AP flour
3/4 c hazelnuts or pecans, toasted
pinch salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teas vanilla extract
approximately 1/2 c lemon curd (purchased or homemade)
1/4 c confectioner's sugar, optional

Make the dough:

Set oven racks to upper- and low-middle. Preheat oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets. Place flour, nuts, salt in a food processor and grind until finely ground.

Place butter and granulated sugar in a bowl (either stand mixer or otherwise) and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating until completely mixed in. On a lower speed, mix in the flour mixture just until incorporated.

Roll  dough into a 1-inch balls and setting each on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Grease a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon and use it to make an indentation in the center of each ball. You'll probably have to grease the spoon repeatedly. Bake about 10 minutes until just set.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and gently press the measuring spoon into the existing holes to reinforce the existing indentations. Return to oven and continue baking, rotating and switching, until the cookies begin to brown around the edges (around 10 minutes, depending on altitude). On cooling racks, cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then move each cookie the the rack until they have cooled completely. The cookies can be stored for 2 days at room temperature; they can be frozen, too, if you keep them in a single layer.

Once you have determined how many cookies you are serving, fill the imprint in each cookie with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.
Remaining cookies can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days until you are ready to fill and eat them. If you prefer, you may store them in the freezer but they tend to survive better if frozen in a single layer.

Place the lemon curd in the fridge until you serve the remaining cookies.

Cook's Country's instructions vary considerably from my own. The curd is baked in their version. Here are instructions for the process:

When the cookies have been baked the first 10 minutes. remove from the oven and deepen the imprints. While the cookie is still hot, fill each dimple with half a teaspoon of lemon curd. Return the sheets to the oven and bake for around 10 minutes until they have browned at the edges. Follow the advise above for rotating, removing, and cooling. Allow to cool before serving and sprinkle with  confectioner's sugar, if you like. This version can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. I've cooked this version so rarely that I cannot advise about freezing.

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