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Pomegranate cookies show off seasonal red

Recipe: These thumbprints are a twist on a traditional favorite

Thumbprint cookies on a green plate
Pomegranate jelly glistens in almond thumbprints.
(Photos: Debbie Arrington)

When I’m lucky enough to have a good crop of pomegranates, I make pomegranate jelly.

What do you do with pomegranate jelly? Try it in thumbprints.

Besides the usual jelly things (such as on top of toast or to glaze meat), sweet-tart pomegranate jelly has a special asset during the holidays: Its beautiful red color.

In a traditional thumbprint cookie, pomegranate jelly glistens like ruby glass. It’s also a pretty and tasty touch to other filled cookies such as Valentine’s Day hearts.

The combination of pomegranate and almonds make these thumbprints very Central Californian, too. These are both tastes of our Valley.

Got pomegranates? Here’s my jelly recipe: https://sacdigsgardening.californialocal.com/article/11079-pomegranate-jelly-colors-the-season/ 

As for the thumbprints, use your first knuckle instead of your thumb to create a deeper well for the filling. While baking, that hole will get smaller as the cookie dough expands.

Warming the jelly makes it easier to spoon into those little holes.

Thumbprints before baking
Use a knuckle rather than thumb to indent the cookies
 produces a deeper well for the jelly. The wells shrink
when the cookies are baked.

Pomegranate-almond thumbprints

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup shortening

¼ cup golden brown sugar, packed

2 eggs, separated

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup almonds, finely chopped

¼ cup pomegranate jelly

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With a pastry blender or fork in a large bowl, blend together butter and shortening. Add brown sugar, egg yolks and vanilla.

Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture gradually to bowl, working it into the butter mixture to create a soft dough.

Roll dough into balls, 1 tablespoon of dough at a time. (Refrigerate dough if it gets too soft and sticky.) Balls will be a little over an inch wide in size.

Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional). Otherwise, use an ungreased cookie sheet.

2 cookies on a plate with a jelly jar
Pomegranate jelly glistens in these cookies, which also would
be good to bake for Valentine's Day.

Beat egg whites lightly. Roll each ball in egg white, then in chopped almonds. Space balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. With your knuckle, gently press down in center of each ball to create a well and flatten the cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. (Don’t bake too long; they’ll get hard!) Cookies will be lightly browned. Remove promptly from cookie sheet. Let cool.

Warm pomegranate jelly in microwave on MEDIUM for 10 to 15 seconds. Stir. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of jelly into each cookie. Let cool.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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