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PBJ Thumbprint Cookies {Dairy Free}

24 November 2016

The last week in November brings with it the American holiday of Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving is likely descended from religious tradition, this eponymous public holiday is honoured and celebrated by those of many different faiths and creeds. It brings with it a rare but important opportunity to stop, take stock and to truly feel thankful for everything that we have.

While Thanksgiving isn't officially celebrated in the UK, the meaning behind the holiday is undoubtedly a welcome one. Today, my Instagram feed has been awash with pecans, pumpkins, persimmons and pies (so many pies!), and - as if by osmosis - I feel included in the joy and familial spirit of Thanksgiving. As I watch my American friends and colleagues prepare for this special evening, I've been reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for.

And so, in honour of my friends across the pond, a recipe inspired by the genius flavour combination that is peanut butter and jelly. While not specific to this holiday perhaps, it feels fitting to give a small nod to the many bountiful feasts that will be cooked up over the long weekend.

Peanut butter is a wonderful ingredient to bake with. Aside from the fact that it's completely delicious, it can also be used as a substituted for fat or flour in certain recipes. These cookies are quick and easy to make, and are also dairy-free to boot.

Jelly - or jam - brings just the right amount of sharpness to cut through the rich, nutty biscuit. Whether they're smeared on toast of baked into tiny thumbprint cookies, PB and J truly are a match made in heaven.

To my US and non-US based readers alike, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. How will you be celebrating this year?
120g plain flour
40g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
120g smooth peanut butter
2 eggs
120g jam

Heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan, and line two large baking trays with parchment. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the peanut butter and eggs, and beat until combined and smooth. Using your hands, roll around 20 small balls and place them on the lined baking trays. 

Lightly oil the end of a wooden spoon, and push into the centre of a cookie until you just feel the base of the tray. Remove the spoon, and repeat until each of the cookies has an indentation - or 'thumbprint' - in the centre. 

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating them halfway through. They should be just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, and then use a spoon or piping bag to divide the jam between the cookies. Return to the oven and baking for a final 3-4 minutes. 

Allow to cool completely before eating.

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