The church biscuit, a Sunday quest: 6. Thumbprint cookies

 I am never completely happy calling what I think to be a biscuit a cookie but if the recipe I’m using calls it a cookie, I feel I have to go along with it. Perhaps some day Stephen Fry on QI will enlighten me, just as he did on the difference between biscuit and cake. (A biscuit softens with age; cake hardens and dries out with age.) I no longer have complete trust in QI since Fry declared that oranges do not go orange when ripe on the tree and then the next week in Rome, in November, there were orange oranges hanging on trees all over the city. But, with biscuits and cake, what he says sound right.

Thumbprint cookies with raspberry curd

This recipe is adapted from the recipe of the same name in 1001 cupcakes, cookies and other tempting treats, ed. Susanna Tee (pub. Parragon Books, 2009).  I have reduced the plain flour by 2 ounces and substituted 2 ounces of ground almonds. This is the resulting recipe.


c.115 g/4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed

c.125 g/ 4 1/2 ounces caster sugar

1 large egg, separated

1 teasp. vanilla extract

c.115 g/4 ounces plain flour

c.90 g/3 ounces ground almonds

raspberry curd

I work in ounces; 1 ounce = 28 g

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C (Fan oven)/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4.

Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.

Put the butter and 100g/3 1/2 ounces of the sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla extract and beat well. Add the sifted flour and 2 ounces of the ground almonds and mix in.

Mix the remaining sugar and ground almonds on a flat dish. Lightly whisk the egg white in a separate bowl. Roll walnut sized pieces of  dough into balls, then dip each ball into the whisked egg white and roll it in the almond sugar. Place the ball on the baking tray and press a finger to make an indentation into each cookie.

Bake in a pre-heated oven fo 10 minutes. Take the trays out of the oven and press down the indentation once more before filling it  with a small dab of jam or curd. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the cookies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

These biscuits were very successful and everyone at church enjoyed them. I used some Raspberry Curd (from The National Trust, a Christmas present) and this was so good that it prompted people to think they would make their own. I’ve had lemon and orange curd before but have never thought of making curd from other fruits.

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One Comment

  1. Anna
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I had never thought of other-fruit curd either – raspberry curd sounds very decadent, yum. This sound delicious – I love ground almonds in baking.

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