Oh yes, we are mixing two of my favorite treats to make these cookies: red wine and chocolate. Mmmm. These cookies are slightly chewy with a little pool of sweet and spicy jam at the center of each. They are not only delicious but really fun to make as adding the thumbprints feels a lot like playing with Play-Doh (but tastes nothing like eating Play-Doh).
The inspiration for these come from Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy's book, Cookie Love. They share a recipe for a Lambic strawberry jam (paired with a PB thumbprint cookie) that I haven't gotten to make yet, but it's HIGH on my list. Sounds amazing, right? And it got me thinking about other fun, boozy liquids that could be added to easy homemade jams. Once I decided I'd try something with red wine, pairing it with a chocolate cookie seemed only natural to me. Anyway, I've only made a couple recipes from this book so far, but I'm excited to try more as I'm already a big fan, seeing it's already inspiring me to explore other combos already. So, thought I'd share in case you need a good cookie cookbook in your life. :)
For the cookies:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
sanding sugar for the edges (optional)
For the jam:
1/2 cup red wine (something bold that you like drinking)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz. raspberries
First get the jam going by combining the wine, sugar, vanilla extract, and raspberries in a small pot. If you are using frozen raspberries, thaw them first. Cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. The raspberries will likely begin to breakdown here, but you can also use the edge of a wooden mixing spoon to smash them up some. Then increase the heat to medium so that the liquid begins to boil. Keep the boil low and steady; you don't want it to boil over the edges of the pot. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is thick enough that it easily coats the spoon. As the jam cools, it will thicken a bit more.
While the jam is cooking, you can start on the cookies. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the vanilla extract and egg and stir until just combined. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk or sift together the flour and cocoa. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture in two batches, stirring in between, until a thick dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Divide into twelve small balls. Flatten the bottom of one side and on the other side press a deep hole with your thumb. You don't want to press a hole all the way through the dough, but don't be afraid to make it quite deep as these will even out/puff a little when baked and you want plenty of space for your jam to sit in. Maybe these should be called jam thrones from now on? Hmmm. If you are using the sanding sugar, roll the edges of each cookie in that now.
Bake on a baking sheet covered with a baking mat or parchment paper at 350°F for 8-9 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for a couple minutes before adding the jam.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.