By Kathleen Hardy
This recipe is for something really different. The idea just came to me when I gave a friend a gift of really good blue cheese and I saw her eating it with fig jam. Sometimes I let my guests know that the cookie will not be sweet, and sometimes I just surprise them. They can be served as an appetizer, but you can also serve them after dinner with fruit. You can also play around with the cheese and jam (cheddar and hot pepper jelly is good) but I think this combination is delicious and festive.
Savory jam thumbprints
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 oz your favorite blue cheese at room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (I like to use a peppercorn blend)
1 tbsp water
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or your favorite nut)
Cream together the butter and blue cheese until smooth. Add the all purpose and wheat flours, salt, and pepper and mix until it forms large crumbles. Add the water and mix just until combined. Form the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Form the cold dough into balls about the size of walnuts. Roll one half of each ball in finely chopped nuts, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, nut side up, flattening slightly, about one inch apart. With your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with fig jam (about 1/2 tsp each). Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking. Cool pans on racks for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies to parchment or waxed paper to finish cooling. Serve room temperature.