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Friday, December 5, 2014

Santa's Thumbprint Cookies ~ Galletas de Huellas Digitales de Santa

Every year the community hosts a Christmas Party for the poor children in Atenas. A Christmas tree is put up and decorated with paper Angels. The back of each Angel lists an age and what the child wants for Christmas. This year there were over 300 angels on the tree and folks in the community took Angels off the tree to buy presents. Tomorrow is the annual Angel Party for all the children. There will be pizza and refreshments and Santa will be on hand to pass out present to everyone. I volunteered to make cookies for the event this year. I decided to make Santa's Thumbprint cookies, but I wanted the filling to be something special that Latin Children love. So, instead of Raspberry or Strawberry jam, I used Guayaba (guava jelly); a staple here everyone enjoys.

1/2 cup guayaba (guava) jam or jelly
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.

Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20-22 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: About 2½ dozen cookies

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