I probably have somewhere in the region of 150 different cookie cutters. Many of them are in themed sets – letters, numbers, geometric shapes, animals (of different types and sizes), a large gingerbread family, diggers and tractors, various Jewish-related sets, seasonal shapes like pumpkins… I could go on. Anyway, despite all of these, I still couldn’t resist a set of three ‘snowflake’ cutters when I saw them heavily discounted in a supermarket the other day. Now that Spring is in the air, I guess they felt that snowflake cookies were over for another year, and they just wanted to clear the shelf.
But, looking at my new cutters, I couldn’t shake the feeling that they would also make pretty good spring flowers. And it would be such a shame if I had to wait another 8 or 9 months before I could use them. So I set about making some lovely, sunshiny, Spring flower biscuits. A little citrus zest added a fruity flavour, and I used the ‘thumbprint cookie’ technique to add a dab of marmalade or jam to the centre of each one, to make the middle of the flower. These came out looking really pretty, and tasting pretty good, too.
I made these in two sizes using the small and medium sized cutters from the set of three. Kipper scoffed a big one and would have helped herself to another if I hadn’t intervened. The biscuits got rave reviews from my Mum, aunt and various other relations. They used words like “melt-in-the-mouth” and “delicious” to describe these Spring flower thumbprint cookies. I don’t think they were just being polite…
Kipper helped with the weighing, mixing, rolling and cutting out. She was also very good at putting the thumbprints in these thumbprint cookies – which is fairly essential! The dough is quite soft, so you need to handle it gently, but the reward is a tender, crisp and tasty thumbprint cookie that also looks fabulous. I think these would make a great gift, and if I’d had any lolly sticks, I’d have been quite tempted to make some of them into cookie-pops too. So many options.
This made 8 large and 10 small Spring flower thumbprint cookies.
- 100g butter or margarine
- 125g caster sugar
- Zest of an orange
- 1 egg, beaten
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for kneading & rolling out
- Few tsp marmalade or jam
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment.
- Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the orange zest.
- Add one third of the flour and one third of the beaten egg and mix well in. Add another third of each, and mix. Add the final third of egg and flour and mix in to give a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in a little more flour until the dough is no longer sticky - it will still be quite soft. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 6-8 mm.
- Cut out cookies using a flower-shaped cutter. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet using a palette knife or fish slice.
- Dip your thumb in flour and press an indentation into the centre of each cookie. Spoon a small amount of jam or marmalade into each indentation.
- Bake the cookies for around 15 minutes until just starting to turn golden.
- Cool on wire racks before eating.
These were a lot of fun to make, and great fun to eat! This month’s Biscuit Barrel challenge, hosted by I’d Much Rather Bake Than…, is on the theme of FUN, so I’m entering my recipe there.