BY DORIE GREENSPAN
From her cookbook Dorie’s Cookies, Dorie Greenspan transforms the standard thumbprint cookie into what is, quite literally, the cookie of her dreams (the idea came to her while she was sleeping) by adding a ring of crumbly, cinnamony streusel around the jammy center. Using vanilla sablé, a classic French shortbread, as its base, virtually any flavor of jam works—like apricot, blueberry, or raspberry—for the ultimate buttery, crumbly cookie.
MAKES ABOUT 30 COOKIES
1 recipe French Vanilla Sablé dough (see below), rolled and chilled
About ½ cup thick jam, such as blueberry or raspberry
1 recipe Use-It-for-Everything Streusel (see below), chilled
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Butter or spray a regular muffin tin—or two tins, if you’ve got them. Have a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter at hand.
2. Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both pieces of parchment paper and put the dough back on one piece of paper. Cut the dough and drop the rounds into the muffin tin(s). Save the scraps from both pieces of dough, then gather them together, reroll, chill, and cut. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the molds—it will once it’s baked.
3. Spoon about ½ teaspoon jam onto the center of each cookie. Spoon or sprinkle streusel around the edges of each cookie—you want to cover the surface of the dough but leave the jam bare.
4. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the tin(s) after 11 minutes, or until the streusel and the edges of the cookies are golden brown; the jam may bubble, and that’s fine. Leave the cookies in the tin(s) for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.
5. Repeat with the remaining dough, making certain that the tins are cool.
FRENCH VANILLA SABLГS
Makes 30 cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars, and the salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. The mixture should be smooth but not fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and, one by one, beat in the yolks, followed by the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add the flour all at once, and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour has passed. With the machine on low, mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the dough a couple of turns with a sturdy, flexible spatula.
2. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it in half. Gather each piece into a ball and shape it into a disk.
3. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough ¼-inch thick between pieces of parchment. Slide the parchment-sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet—you can stack the slabs—and freeze for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Makes about 1 ½ cups
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
5 ½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. You can make the streusel by hand or in a mixer. I prefer to use a stand mixer, but fingers are fine. Whisk the flour, both sugars, the cinnamon, and the salt together in the mixer bowl or in a large bowl. Drop in the cubes of cold butter and toss all the ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is coated. If you’re working with a mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until the ingredients form moist, clumpy crumbs. When you squeeze the streusel, it should hold together. Reaching this stage takes longer than you think it will—you might have to mix for 10 minutes or more.
2. Sprinkle over the vanilla and mix until blended. Or, if you’re working by hand, squeeze, mash, mush, or otherwise rub everything together until you have a bowlful of moist clumps and curds. Squeeze the streusel and it will hold together. Sprinkle over the vanilla and toss to blend.
3. Pack the streusel into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (3 hours would be better) before using.