Apricot Buttons (a.k.a. Jam Thumbprints) from an insanely cute pink, white, and green vintage recipe box (one of the cutest I have!).
These make just the right amount for one afternoon. With coconut and apricot jam they are perfect for serving with tea or with football, or with whatever you happen to do on Sunday afternoons!
I am writing this post and waiting for a glue gun to heat so I can finish making a stuffed felt dog with my mini-me. These days are fabulous despite the threat of Christmas tornadoes (really) because I am off work for more than a week. Left to my own devices I will bake and bake and welcome the boxes of vintage china that I have ordered from Etsy. Vintage china is my newest obsession and I’m intent on having a mis-matched set of assorted Noritake Nippon and Limoges. It’s surprisingly affordable and the hunt has yielded great results, & it feels oddly and excitingly indulgent despite the low cost. However, I’m not graceful in the kitchen and my husband is questioning the need for dishes that we will use once or twice a year. Since I know they will eventually succumb to my lack of grace (and hand washing in our enameled cast iron farmhouse sink) mis-matching sets is pretty much a necessity.
These days off also leave me time to enjoy the company of my 7-year-old sidekick, a rarity these days since I always seem to be working. You know what I’d forgotten about her? The way she sleeps in, gives random hugs throughout the day, and how much she talks…..that she is a whiz at math and is a voracious reader….her quick wit, her interest in just about everything, and her penchant for stealing a cookie from the kitchen when no one is looking. She’s taken to drinking her hot chocolate in vintage Limoges teacups and has an interest in learning French. Precocious much? I’d worry except she just likes the idea of fancy hot chocolate and learning a language that people around her don’t speak. She balances it with fart jokes and not worrying about brushing her teeth and leaving dirty socks everywhere, so please don’t think I’m trying to turn my daughter into something that society finds obnoxious.
She hates these cookies, by the way. She finds it suspicious that I filled them with apricot jam even though I left her a couple without any jam in them at all. I may eat these all on my own. In one day. Wearing sweatpants.
Like many mothers I work full-time and let me tell you, it’s a bitch. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling that you’re missing out on your child’s life because you have to work to pay the bills. Equally, I’d like to spend my hours doing something that I love (and I do love baking & history & books). If anyone can figure out how to make those things come together (doing what you love + getting paid for it) I’d be forever grateful if you’d share. With luck, 2016 will bring some positive changes including a few less working hours and a few more baking and family hours to find a better work/life balance.
In the meantime (and in my week off of obsessive baking because it’s the only time I have to do this), I will tell you that these cookies are really tasty. You don’t have to make your own jam like I did. If I wasn’t concerned with following the recipe as closely as possible I would have just popped open my favorite store-bought jam and used it with equally good results.
- ½ cup dried apricots
- ½ cup water
- ⅔ cups sugar
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chopped nuts or coconut
- Combine apricots and water in small saucepan over low heat. Cover, cook until tender. Mash.
- Stir in half the sugar. Cook until thick, set aside.
- Cream shortening and remaining sugar.
- Beat in egg (yolk only) and vanilla.
- Sift flour and salt together, blend into creamed mixture, chill.
- Form dough into small balls.
- Beat egg white until frothy and dip dough balls into egg white, then in nuts or coconut.
- place balls on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in slow oven (300*) 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Make a dent in the top of each cookie.
- Bake 15-20 minutes longer. Remove to a cookie rack to cook.
- Fill centers with apricot mixture.
- Yield: 2½ dozen (or less, depending on how big you roll the dough balls)
1. You can speed up the recipe by using pre-made jam.
2. This recipe does not make a lot of cookies. I made 16 and make fairly small sized dough balls. You can make them smaller to yield 24+ cookies or just double the batch for more.
3. The dough does not need much time to cool in the fridge, maybe 15 minutes.