it's a thing to go to the apple orchards every fall in nebraska. once a year families make the trek to nebraska city to buy apples, buy apple jelly, buy apple cider, pick apples and then eat apple related thingies for the rest of the season until everyone is sick of apples until next fall...or until the apple pie happens.
dirt bike man gets really excited this time of year because it means we can pick up a jug of unpasteurized apple cider. however, with just the two of us, that's a lot of apple cider to go through. so when life gives you too much of anything, make cookies right??
roasted almond thumbprint cookies with apple cider jelly
makes 36 cookies
recipe adapted from bon appetit mag
apple cider jelly:
4 c apple cider
1 3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 box sure-jell fruit pectin
for the cookies:
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c almond meal
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 c sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract
1 c raw sugar
1) heat the apple cider in a small saucepan, add sugar and box of pectin. bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer stirring occasionally.
2) continue to reduce the apple cider down until a little before halfway. check the consistency of the jelly by keeping a metal spoon in a bowl of ice water. use the cold spoon to take out a spoonful of jelly and let it cool down to room temp. the jelly should be firm and not runny when ready. if it is still runny, continue to reduce the cider and check it every 5 minutes.
3) pour jelly into mason jars to cool (or see note below). that way you can share the extra!
1) pre-heat oven to 375F. place almond meal on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12 mins or until very golden brown. stir halfway through bake time.
2) beat butter and sugar with a mixer, until light & fluffy, about 4 minutes. add egg & vanilla, beat for another 4 minutes. reduce speed and slowly add flour, toasted almond meal, baking powder & salt; mix just to combine.
3) place sanding sugar in a small bowl. scoop out dough by tablespoonfuls and roll into balls. roll in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet 2" apart. if dough is too warm, chill for 20 minutes; this will help to roll them.
4) bake cookies for 5 mins. remove from oven. then using a teaspoon, press the back of teaspoon into the middle of the cookie. give it a good press, almost to the bottom of the sheet tray.
5) bake cookies for another 7-10 minutes. transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
6) once cookies are cool, spoon jelly into the centers.
**note** if you want a smoother looking center, use the jelly when it is still warm and liquid. i let my jelly cool down completely before spooning into centers for a different look