Nov 9, 2009

Raspberry Strippers


Even though they’re void of chocolate chips, peanut butter, and nuts, a.k.a. the ingredients that usually produce the best cookies, these little guys definitely have something going for them. Sugar and butter. And more sugar.

Raspberry strippers are basically a twist on thumbprint cookies, which I’ve never made, but have eaten plenty of times. They looked so pretty, I just had to try them. But "pretty", pretty much meant they'd be a tad tedious, and seeing that I had a long night of pierogi-making fun ahead of me, I went out of my way to speed up the process. I got out all the ingredients and portioned them in advance, and even cleaned up and put things away as I was going. I was on a roll.

Sugar…butter…vanilla. It was all mixing up nicely, and I was making great time. That is, until the egg. The recipe calls for one large egg white. So I added three tablespoons (an egg’s worth) from my carton of egg whites, but it seemed like an awful lot of liquid. So I started to worry, thinking that maybe an egg’s worth of liquid was a lot more than an egg white’s worth of liquid. I phoned my mom and she said it would be fine.

I was still worried, but continued, adding the dry ingredients, and mixing up the dough to what was supposed to be “firm”. But it was nowhere near firm. Not even in the same universe as firm. Just sloppy and sticky. I was sure it was ruined, so I made a judgment call to start over, and spooned the sticky goo onto a cookie sheet, which later became some plain old butter cookies. (Pretty good, by the way, especially with a milk dunk.)



So I got all the ingredients out again, measured everything, and started over, at a much slower, slightly disheartened pace, have you. I used an egg white from an actual egg the second time around, and guess what? Even more liquid. Seems mother always does know best. And the dough was even stickier, too, like peanut butter. I tried to plop it onto the table, but it was glued to my fingers.

How do you roll peanut butter into logs? You don’t. So instead, I patted down the dough with tons of flour, and shaped it carefully by hand. I even got a few half rolls in there. But when it came time to transfer to a cookie sheet, it wouldn’t budge without breaking. In the end, it took three spatulas, a balancing act, and a little reconstructive surgery, but it worked.




Then using the handle of a spoon, I made an indentation down each log and spooned in the preserves. Baked. Then drizzled with a mix of powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. And they came out great. The glaze is very sweet, which nicely complements the buttery vanilla cookie and the slightly tart preserves. I’ll definitely make these again, despite my less-than-perfect experience.

I’m thinking they’d be easier and prettier if they were simple circles filled with jam instead of the long rolls. But I guess that would mean taking the twist out of "twist on the thumbprint cookie". Oh well. Luke liked them, so they were worth the trouble. And while they don't have any chocolate chips or peanut butter, I'm still guessing these won't be around for long.



Raspberry Strippers
Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

Cookbook note: Think of these as a variation of thumbprint cookies. Vanilla butter cookies are filled with fruit preserves and drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze.


1/3  cup  granulated sugar
5  tablespoons  butter or stick margarine, softened
1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
1  large egg white
1  cup  all-purpose flour
2  tablespoons  cornstarch
1/4  teaspoon  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  salt
Cooking spray
1/3  cup  raspberry or apricot preserves
1/2  cup  powdered sugar
2  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  almond or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°.

Beat granulated sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and egg white; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring until well-blended. (Dough will be stiff.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12-inch log. Place logs 3 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Form a 1/2-inch-deep indentation down the length of each log using an index finger or end of a wooden spoon. Spoon preserves into the center. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove logs to a cutting board.

Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract; stir well with a whisk. Drizzle sugar mixture over warm logs. Immediately cut each log diagonally into 12 slices. (Do not separate slices.) Cool 10 minutes; separate slices. Transfer slices to wire racks. Cool completely.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 75 (30% from fat), Fat: 2.5g (sat 1.5g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.2g), Protein: 0.7g, Carbohydrate: 12.4g, Fiber: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Iron: 0.3mg, Sodium: 56mg, Calcium: 4mg. Source: Cooking Light Complete Cookbook, 2008.


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