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Pomegranate cookies show off seasonal red

Recipe: Pomegranate-almond thumbprints are a twist on 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.blogspot.com/2019/12/pomegranate-jelly-colors-season.html

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 Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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