Recipe: Blue cheese thumbprints, by Linda Marrone
It’s a new year and I’m always glad to welcome January and say goodbye to December. This is my first year of retirement so we’ll see how that goes. So far since the Farmers Market ended it seems I’m as busy as ever. I have high hopes of crossing lots of things off of my “to do” list. I’m hopeful I’ll get more done this year than in the past. I can already see when you’re retired you might not have the same motivation because you figure if I don’t finish a task today I can do it tomorrow or the next day or even the next. For a procrastinator like me this might not be the best scenario.
Our grandkids got us new gadgets for Christmas, Alexa, Google and smart lights. They want us to be wired in and we’re trying our best. I got a newer iPhone and a new car I feel will be my last one and I’m OK with that. I just hope I can learn how all the gadgets, bells and whistles work before I’m 90.
Speaking of new, I have some food columnists to introduce who will start writing for the Appeal this year. Angela Wolf and Howard Jachens, owner and chef, from the downtown restaurant, Gather, will be taking over for Tina from Z Bistro. My friend Katie Johnson, cook and gardener extraordinaire (formally of Hick’ry Switch) will take over from Muffy Vhay. Last, but certainly not least, Jerry Massad from the Cracker Box and J’s Bistro will be our other new addition. He has written a couple of articles for us in the past. New year, new lineup and lots of delicious recipes from your friends and neighbors. Actually Jerry and Katie are neighbors.
With the playoffs over and the Super Bowl on the horizon it’s always nice to have a new recipe or two on hand. This is an easy one and can be made two ways, the first will be in the sweet and savory category and the slice and bake would be good for snacking or dipping.
BLUE CHEESE THUMBPRINTS
2 4-ounce packages crumbled blue cheese
1 cube unsalted butter, softened
4 ounce Softened cream cheese
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup preserves, your choice (you can use a sweet jam, cherry, apricot, raspberry or a savory filling like a mango ginger chutney).
Beat butter and blue and cream cheese with an electric beater until fluffy. Add flour. poppy seeds and pepper until just combined. Roll into 3/4 inch balls, cover and chill about 2 hours. I cut this recipe in half with no problems. You could also make half thumbprints and a log with the rest.
Arrange balls on parchment covered cookie sheets and press thumb into each ball, leaving an indentation. Bake 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Place about 1/4 teaspoon preserves in each indentation.
In the second variation, combine the ingredients for the dough and shape into two 9-inch logs. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours. Cut each log into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices and place on parchment covered cookie sheets. Bake in 350 oven for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, omit preserves. These can be make ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
Makes 4-5 dozen.
Linda Marrone is the former 3rd and Curry Street Farmers Market Director and is now retired.