“Spry” Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: Approximately three dozen cookies.
½ cup (1 stick) shortening (I used Earth Balance Natural Shortening)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp grated lemon rind
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the shortening, salt, lemon rind, nutmeg, and sugar on medium speed until creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, letting them incorporate into the mixture. Add the vanilla extract, continuing to mix until incorporated.
Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and mix on low speed just until combined.
Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl again. Add the milk, and mix on low speed just until combined.
Place teaspoon-sized balls of the dough on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a wet thumb, press a well in the center of each cookie. Fill the well with the jam or jelly of your choice.
Bake in preheated oven, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to brown. Cool thoroughly before eating. (The jam stays very hot: use caution.)
Yield: Approximately one quart
1 ¼ lbs rhubarb, sliced thinly across the fibers (like celery)
1 green apple, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup sliced strawberries
3 cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
Combine all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, about ten to fifteen minutes.
Continue simmering over low heat, stirring frequently until the jelly has thickened, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Optional: use a candy thermometer. Cook the jelly until it reaches 220˚F.)
Cool in the pan for approximately ½ hour before transferring to a glass jar. Cool thoroughly before using. (The jelly will continue to thicken as it cools.)
These recipes are discussed in my story, “In A Rhubarb.”