Sunday, June 1, 2014

The New Improved Buckwheat Thumbprint Cookies, with Walnuts and Rum

Here is the updated recipe for buckwheat thumbprint cookies.  Ajdovčki, as I explained to my Slovenian language class. They are at the top left in the photo above.

I wanted to impress my classmates with these unusual cookies.  Unfortunately, my previous attempt had turned out dry and a little bland. I decided to go back to the original Slovenian recipe and follow it more closely this time.

(For the background story, and version #1, go here.)

A few changes were definitely in order. Walnuts and rum.  Nuts ground the old-fashioned way, with my newly-acquired antique hand grinder.  And closer attention to the metric conversions, which meant a little more cocoa and a smaller volume of nuts. For the spices, I used the Slovenian measure: a knife tip!  Finally, I used two new, sweeter fillings: apricot jam and lemon curd.

The result?  Delicious!  The one little problem: The lemon curd got absorbed into the cookies, so I'd recommend sticking with the jam or preserves of your choice.  

And for complete confidence: use a scale.  It's the European way. 

Ajdovčki, or Buckwheat Thumbprint Cookies (with walnuts and rum, the Slovenian way!)

2/3 c. white flour
1/2 c. buckwheat flour
2/3 c. ground walnuts (90 g by weight)
5 T. cocoa
7 T. butter (1 quarter-pound stick, less 1 T.)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 knife tip cinnamon
1 knife tip cloves
2 T. rum
Preserves or jam of your choice for filling

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips. Mixture will be crumbly. Beat egg yolk and rum together and sprinkle over mixture. Work with hands until mixture holds together.  If necessary, add a little more rum or water until you have a stiff, dense dough.

Form dough into small balls, about the size of a walnut.  Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Make a depression in each ball with the handle of a wooden spoon, a chopstick, or your finger.

Bake at 330 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Enlarge hole with your finger and add a bit of jam.  Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 5 more minutes. Let cool.