Sunday, January 08, 2012

Jammy Thumbprint Cookies

We're still in the first week of 2012, so it is not too late for me to wish you all a good one.

Our little family spend New Year's Eve the same way we have celebrated this day for the past 4 years- at a lovely dinner party hosted by a dear friend who was a former neighbor. It was a small gathering of very interesting people- artists and historians and architects. One of the regulars at the party was a lovely lady, an award-winning textile artist who happens to be 90 years old. After dinner, she invited us up to see her studio and beautiful home and took us up to the rooftop to see the new year being rung in with fireworks. Being in her company was the most inspiring way to start the new year.

Imagine my shock and sadness when just 2 days into the new year, she suffered a massive stroke and has now passed on. Such is life- the present moment is all we have; there's no telling what tomorrow will bring. I will remember her as a glowing example of how to approach life with grace and humor, to revel in the beauty and color around us and to create good things always. I'm so glad Lila got a chance to be held and cuddled by her, and that I told her that night how much that I think she is the coolest person. Too often we wait until people are gone to say how awesome they were.

Right now it looks like 2012 might be an eventful year for us. We will likely have close family members visiting us, a few new nieces/nephews coming into this world, and perhaps even a move to a different place. And when I cook or bake something delicious, you'll definitely be the first to know.

My baking spree in the holiday season gave me a chance to try a long bookmarked recipe- vegan thumbprint cookies that I first saw on The Kitchn. The recipe is titled "life-changing cookies"- how could I resist making them and seeing if they changed my life??


I followed the recipe closely. The recipe did not specify whether the almonds were raw or roasted; I started with raw almonds and toasted them a little before cooling and grinding them. If you have a bunch of partially full jam jars in the fridge door (like I did), you can make a colorful assortment of these cookies. Along with the usual strawberry and raspberry jam, I was able to use some wonderful blackberry jam which was a sweet gift from The Cooker. Finally, I made sure the cookies were baked until they looked nice and toasty, which enhanced the flavor and gave them a wonderful crunch.

The first batch of thumbprint cookies made their way into several cookie boxes for Christmas gifts and we snacked on them. At the first time, I was a little underwhelmed. These are hardly life-changing, I thought to myself. But with a hearty taste and just the right amount of sweetness, the cookies grow on you. What really surprised me was the feedback from my friends. One friend reported that the box barely lasted until the next morning (and they had been delivered after dinner the night before). Another confessed that he could barely force himself to save a cookie or two to share with the rest of the family. A third e-mailed asking for the recipe. Suffice it to say that the cookies were very popular. I shrugged and promptly mixed another batch of dough. Try these cookies if you get the chance. They are eggless, vegan even. And the sticky, jammy centers will appeal to the kid in you.

Books for Baby

These days, this is one of my favorite books to read to Miss Baby: Guess How Much I Love You written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.


It is a sweet and simple story with the most darling illustrations. The one problem is that I get choked up with emotion every time I read this book to Lila. I dare you not to cry when you read this book. It will make even the most cold and cynical heart melt into a puddle.

Having a newborn has also introduced me to the world of fabric books. Fabric books are cuddly and even the most spirited babe will find it hard to tear them! When my parents were here, we spent many happy hours browsing in craft and fabric stores, and found a fabric printed with book pages, ready to be cut and sewn into a cute little book. Of course my mother had to pull out the sewing machine and make it for her grand-baby.




Anyway, that's my little bloggy fix for the weekend. Have a good week ahead!

29 comments:

  1. Wow that's such a cute idea,will try the cookies sometime,.

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  2. You are so right, that the present is all we have. I'm so sad about your friend, but glad also that you had a chance to celebrate the new year with her. She will be a part of your 2012 in every way.

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  3. Happy New Year Nupur...Those fabric books are the cutest ! You even get water proof bath books like these..Very inspiring about that 90 year old lady, its great to see people live life to the fullest..May her soul rest in peace.

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  4. Happy New Year Nupur and family. Woofy one to Dale!

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  5. What a homey post, the specialness of a new friend, too-fast lost. Happy New Year, dear friend!

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  6. A very happy new year to you and your family. I love the idea of starting it with cookies :)

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  7. Wat a super delicious cookies, those books looks soo cute..

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  8. Happy New Year to you all Nupur. Loved Ajjis embroidery...Lila is one lucky girl!

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  9. It's both a wonderful and sad way to start the year...but what a gift she had in cuddling baby Lila...

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  10. hey great book,i guess u guyz just have loads of the artitic genes, some months earlier i remem seeing ur sisters stuff, now this book m
    by ur mom..its really really great!

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  11. Hey Nupur,
    Wish you a very happy new year too. Loved reading your current and couple of previous posts

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  12. Happy New Year Nupur to you and your family. Love the cute book your mom gifted Lila.

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  13. Have a lovely new year Nupur.

    That is a lovely book your Mom gave to Lila. The "Guess How Much..." is a book I like more than my girls :)

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  14. Happy New Year! Nupur.
    Those cookies look so very good.

    So very true. Live for the moment is a good philosophy.

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  15. have a great year ahead Nupur. loved reading this post the fabric book is cutest.

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  16. Great cookie! My mother used to bake something similar for Christmas, though not vegan. She used peanut butter as the base for hers, as I recall. Thanks for this.

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  17. happy new year Nupur! Hope you do have a good eventful year as anticipated :) The cookies look wonderful and cute! As does the fabric book... i dont think we find these in India. Such a great concept!!

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  18. Happy new year Nupur! Fabric book sounds like a wonderful idea :)

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  19. Thats my fav book as well and read it just yday to my 6 year old!!!she still loves it'

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend - but what a full life she led

    We made jam sandwich cookies during the hold when my niece and nephew were down and they loved pulling them apoart and licking them!

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  20. awwww.... the fabric book is sooo cute..
    Lots of love to Lila.

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  21. Happy New yer to you Nupur. You are amongst the first food blogs I got introduced to. it is my pleasure to invite you to my first blog event plus giveaway - Valentines Special. Do check it out and be a part of it. Would be great if you were there..!

    My event- Valentines Day Special

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  22. hey Nupur,
    Wishing you and your family Happy New year ...
    and what a lovely book made from your mom. Wow..very cute gift to Lila..she'll love it and looks like everyone in your family is super creative and talented :-)
    Sad to hear about passing away of the old lady...truly inspiring life and yes, live for the moment is the best way to live.
    Love those cookies...hope I could pick one up and just eat it :-)

    Mina.

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  23. Nupur, Wishing you a very happy new year and Congratulations on becoming a Mom.....

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  24. thanks for sharing the cookies recipe, came out awesome..its healthilicious :)

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  25. Hi Nupur, I'm a first time visitor to your blog. Actually I was looking for a recipe for thalipeeth when I came across One Hot Stove. I'm an oats lover, so this recipe sounds great to me, except that we don't really buy maple syrup in our homes in India. Think I can use honey as a substitute? Any other ideas?

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Aarti. I haven't used honey instead of maple syrup in this recipe, so you'd have to try and see for yourself. I would suggest making a 1/4 batch to try first- good luck!

      Two things I can think of: using molasses (kakvi in Marathi) instead of maple syrup or diluting honey 1:1 with water because maple syrup is thinner than honey. But like I said, I have not experimented with this recipe.

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    2. Thanks Nupur, I'm afraid I forgot to come back and check your reply. I'll give a small batch a shot this weekend, and tell you how it went.

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    3. Hi Nupur, I'm back with the promised report. Tried it with diluted honey, as you suggested, and the cookies, though otherwise fine, are quite bland. I suppose we needed some more sweetener but they're not bad this way too. Only thing, they've gone rather soft the next day. I suppose that's because of the crazy summer humidity here in Mumbai.
      Will soon be making an improved version for a friend who's on a diet :)

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    4. Hi Aarti! Good for you for trying the version with honey and I am glad they were edible at the very least. Yes, adding a little more sugar might do the trick. And they might have gone soft partly because of the added water content.
      For your friend who is on a diet, you might like to try this cookie from Nandita which is full of healthy ingredients:
      http://saffrontrail.blogspot.com/2012/04/healthiest-cookies-i-have-ever-baked.html

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