I had the good fortune of working with a gardener who would tell animated stories with subjects ranging from the condition of his cast iron skillets made excellent by bacon to the parties that his neighbor, Rufus Wainwright, would throw. He introduced me to Grey Gardens, a documentary about Jackie Kennedy's reclusive and eccentric relatives, two days prior to my running into its cinematographer on a downtown train. My favorite story was when he recalled a time during which he was in art school in New York City in the seventies when he spent the day with a friend who was tripping on acid. Towards the end of their time together, as they were walking to her apartment, she began to act irrationally -- running across the streets and hiding behind phone booths. After they safely got inside of her building, she looked at him with crazed eyes and said, "Scott. We're safe now but for the past twenty blocks a Victorian house has been following us."
Thumbprint cookies have followed me for a long time. My grandmother would make molasses cookies with a scoop of apricot jam in the middle during my summers on Higley Flow and my mother would make similar chocolate ones with raspberry preserves. With the copious amounts of homemade quince and millet flour in the fridge, this gluten free version nearly made itself.
Almond Thumbprint Cookies w/ Quince Preserves
If you have a gluten free flour blend up your sleeve, use it. Based on the ingredients I had lying around, I made a blend out of 1/2 c millet flour, 2/3 c chic pea flour, 2 T arrowroot and 2 T white rice flour. Additionally, if regular flour suits you -- use it!
1 c toasted almonds, ground
1 c gluten free flour (or one cup regular all-purpose flour)
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c coconut oil (canola or butter works great, too)
1 c quince preserves (or any kind of jam, jelly or fruit spread)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Make sure the almonds are ground into a coarse meal (by hand or in the food processor). Sift together all dry ingredients together, add the almonds and then the maple syrup and oil. Mix to incorporate and form into small ping pong ball sized cookies. Press down in the center of the cookies with your thumb or another finger to make an indentation for the preserves. Scoop about a teaspoon worth of jam into each indentation and bake until the cookie has browned a bit underneath -- about 14 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack completely before enjoying.
Yields: nearly a dozen cookies (double or triple the recipe for a more generous batch)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes