It's 4th of July Weekend. You need dessert. American dessert. Cookies. Peanut butter. Strawberries. And beer. Thankfully, no barbecue sauce, although the taste here will be that intense.
What can you do with some fresh, first-of-the-summer strawberries and a bottle of beer? Lambic beer, actually, providing a cidery, almost berry taste.
You could make jam. And you can put the jam on toast. Or, or you can make peanut butter thumbprint cookies and fill the dent with your new Strawberry Lambic Jam.
Yes, here is a cookie that is peanut butter and jelly on sugar steroids. This bright idea comes from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal. Mindy’s book is filled with beaming ideas that will make you realize there is no such thing as a “mere” cookie. Give this cookie a try, and you’ll be getting your own copy of Cookie Love.
She has Peaches and Cream Thumbprints, too, with homemade Honey Peach Preserves and a custard of sour cream, heavy cream and orange rind.
Yes, you are right. Get your copy now.
Peanut Butter Thumbprints with Strawberry Lambic Jam
Yield: 40 cookies
For the cookies:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
For shaping and filling:
- 1 scant cup Beer Nuts or roasted, red-skinned peanuts
- 1 cup Strawberry Lambic Jam [recipe follows]
To make the cookies:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 65 to 10 seconds. Add the sugars and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, approximately 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Add the peanut butter and mix on medium speed to combine thoroughly, approximately 1 minute.
Crack the egg into a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salts.
On medium speed, add the egg to the butter mixture and mix until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 10 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until the dough comes together but still looks shaggy, approximately 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to bring the batter together. Mix for another 10 seconds on medium speed. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
Stretch out a long sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and put the dough on top. Pat into a 6 by 8-inch rectangle, using the bench scraper to square off the sides. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
To shape and fill the cookies:
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pans with parchment paper.
In a food processor, pulse the Beer Nuts until a fine meal forms but before they turn into peanut butter.
Cut the dough lengthwise into 5 even strips. Roll the strips back and forth into logs to round out the edges. Sprinkle the ground Beer Nuts over the work surface and roll the logs in the nuts to coat.
Using the top half of your thumb as a guide, cut each log into 8 pieces but keep the log together. (You will get approximately 8 pieces out of each log.) Roll the logs again to round out the edges, then pull the pieces apart and place cut-side up on the prepared pans, evenly spacing up to 20 cookies per pan.
With the tip of your index finger, make an indentation into the center of each cookie. Spoon the jam into the center of each thumbprint.
Bake one pan at a time for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the cookies have slight cracks on the top and are set, another 6 to 8 minutes. When ready, the cookies will have set around the edges and the bottoms will be light brown, but the cookies will still be soft. Let cool completely on the pan.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Strawberry Lambic Jam
Yield: 1 cup
- 12 ounces washed, hulled, and dried strawberries, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 12-ounce bottle berry lambic [fruit beer]
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Combine the strawberries, lambic, and sugar in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a high-sided, heavy pot, heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the lambic starts to boil and foam [stir the pot to prevent the lambic from boiling over].
Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick enough to coat a spoon, approximately 30 minutes. The jam with thicken slightly as it cools.
The jam keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Source: Cookie Love by Mindy Segal [Ten Speed Press, 2015]