Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My sister-in-law is a smoking cessation specialist. When we were discussing the most important part of quitting the habit, she said that the first thing she talks about with people is how they will deal with the time left over from smoking. What are you going to fill those countless minutes with?

I am applying the same logic to “quitting” TV. If I don't keep this little boy busy, we both will resort to TV to fill the time. Today, my project was Michelle Branch's Thumbprint Cookies, as published in “Parade.”

We only resorted to ONE episode of “Sesame Street” today, while I was getting things ready (lunch, my own dressing / makeup and hair) this morning for co-op preschool.

I'm pretty proud of us, especially since Connor asked several times, both for “Despicable Me,” “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan” and even his “Alpha and Omega” movie. Each time I diverted his attention to a different activity, from wooden train tracks and trains to playing outside despite the sprinkle of rain.

Here is the recipe, and some pictures from our misadventures. These cookies are going to stay in my recipe files-- absolutely delicious!

2 cups sifted flour (sift before measuring out 2 cups)
½ tsp of salt
1 cup butter
½ cup of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
Your preferred jam or other filling (we used Smucker's Simply Fruit in Black Raspberry and a bite size Hershey's chocolate bar cut up into 8 pieces)
½ cup sifted confectioner's sugar

1)                  Sift together flour and salt, set aside.

2)                  Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

3)                  Add vanilla extract.

4)                  Slowly mix in flour ½ cup at a time till just blended. Chill dough 1-2 hours.

5)                  Preheat oven to 325. Shape dough into 1” balls and space 2” apart on cookie

6)                  Make a deep thumbprint in each and fill.

7)                  Bake 15 minutes, or until cookies are color of pale sand. Transfer to a wire
                     cooling rack.

8)                  When cooked, dust with confectioner's sugar.

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