Friday, December 09, 2005

They are watching me....

Last night nature decided to play a cruel joke on me and dumped 5 inches of snow on us thus causing the schools to call a snow day. I was counting on school to give me a brief break from one of my intense kids on the last full day of what has felt like a marathon of solo-parenting while my better half is off on a 9 day work trip. (I know, there are single parents out there who do this all the time and I think they are saints and can not figure out how they stay sane.)

Despite having three different types of chocolates open and available (still a few dark chocolate covered glaceed apricots left after yesterday's knitting fiasco, some truffles, and chocolate covered English toffee) and two open boxes of cookies (all butter shortbread and some of those little chocolate slabbed LU Petit Ecolier biscuits) I felt the need to make cookies it complete parental burn-out or just a sugar desire that is making up for (ahem) "something else" lacking in my life the past 9 days.

After a small amount of kid involvement (resulting in an inordinate number of poppy seeds hitting the floor) we produced these:
Poppy seed thumbprint cookies

They are pretty tasty cookies, despite the fact that they came from Eating Well magazine which usually has baked goods recipes that taste like cardboard. They aren't that healthy since they still contain a full stick of butter and a cup of powdered sugar, which is probably why they taste pretty good. There's some whole wheat flour in them which gives them a nutty taste (without nuts) and I used some homemade cherry jam in the dents which combined nicely with the lemon zest in the not-too-sweet cookie base. My major gripe about most of the holiday cookies made this time of year is that they are too sweet and make my teeth itch and my blood sugar spike alarmingly (sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles??? AAAGGGG!) These little cookies leave me itchless and (relatively) stable.

But there is something a little creepy about them--take a look at the photo below:
I can't shake the feeling that they are all eyeballs (rabid and bloodshot, at that) and that, like Mona Lisa's gaze, they follow me around the room.

The sharp sighted among you might have noticed the beverage accompaniment lurking in the background of the above photo and maybe, just maybe, I should have been drinking tea instead of wine at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and which presumably wouldn't have resulted in being freaked out by my own cookies. (Maybe the opiates in the poppy seeds combined with the tannins in the wine to create the hallucination--Yeah! It was the poppy seeds fault!)
But it was such a nice wine...and it went pretty well with the cookies!

So if you too feel the need to bake some eyeballs, er, cookies, here is the recipe:

Sorta Healthy Poppy Seed Thumbprint Cookies
adapted from
Eating Well magazine

1 2/3 C whole wheat flour

1 C all purpose flour

2 T poppy seeds

1/2 t salt

1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

1/2 t vanilla
1/2 C canola oil
1 C powdered sugar

1 egg

fresh grated zest from 1 lemon

about 1/3-1/2 C jam, preferably sour cherry

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, use an electric mixer and beat butter, oil and sugar until creamy (mine was still a little runny). Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla and beat a little longer.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients until combined into a sturdy dough.
  5. Make small balls with the dough (about 1 T) and put them on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Press your thumb (or the thumb of any available kid who has washed their hands since they like this part) into the center to make the dent and put about 1/2 t of jam in the dent.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm and lightly brown. Cool on a rack.
  8. Pour yourself a large glass of red wine, eat a couple of cookies and then let me know if the rest of the cookies are watching you as you stumble around the room consuming their brethren. Maybe yours will be more polite and avert their gaze.


Anonymous said...

I love the cookies (and the wine!) and might try to make some for the neighborhood exchange--I'll let you know how they turn out.

My kids had a snow day today, too! I'm a bad snow parent--I made Elliot bring in a big bowl of it for Camila to play with so I wouldn't have to stay outside after shoveling the slush off the sidewalk.

SusanW said...

The title makes me think of the song..."private eyes, are watching you"...

I'm guessing the wine helped you along in freaking yourself out Kate. Although I can't say I blame you for wine on a snow day. The other day I had a hot chocolate very much helped by some Bailey's and realized it was around 1:00 on a Saturday.

Wish I could have one of those while at work sometimes!

Hope you are doing wonderfully well!!!

Denise said...

So, are you just using the dried poppy seeds you can get in the grocery store? Because I need poppy seed paste for Hungarian holiday pastries, and can't find it anywhere...

Kate said...

These are just the basic dried poppy seeds--not some special filling (though the paste sounds divine!)

Tricia said...

It wasn't just the wine, those do look like eyeballs! Run and hide, quick!!

But the comment about wheat flour adding nuttiness has inspired me to add a smidgen of faux-healthiness next time I make my holiday favorite, butter balls (made with finely chopped pecans, so already imbued with a nuttiness of their own).