It is a little hard to explain my strange thing about jam and jelly. If asked I say I don't eat them. It's not that I don't like jam or jelly, it's just I only eat jam or jelly in one item: Thumbprint Cookies. Last year I made some with muscadine grape jelly, which I received as a gift.
Very recently I was given some Autumn Olive Jam, so after a taste test, I was off on another cookie making adventure.
Now, I have only recently heard of autumn olives and in fact it was just over a week ago that I receive that jam. What a difference a week makes. It seems to be a forager's secret, for these tasty treats seem to be a very common wild fruit. I particularly like that they have just a little bit to the taste.
While it is considered an invasive plant, the berries have some very high impact nutritional value, particularly they are high in lycopene.
Then Sunday morning, I was sitting on my back stoop and I spied what I thought may be a bush of this new delightful treasure. I snapped a pic and threw it up on a plant identification site and BAM! After I got back from church they had i.d.'d my bush as autumn olive. I had already tasted them.
Later my grand babies came to visit and we were walking the property and what to my wondering eyes did appear, an entire wall of autumn olive bushes. They enjoyed tasting the olives, particularly my brave youngest who tends to like tart things.
Now I know the secret...
Autumn Olive Thumbprint Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg (How To Store Eggs With Coconut Oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract)
1/3 cup jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in sections, mixing until combined..
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep (the thumbprint). Fill each thumbprint with about 3/4 teaspoon of the jam.
Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
By the end of the day I had picked a large container of these little berries, which I didn't even know about last week ready to learn about making them into jam. That is how I like life - a learning adventure.
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