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Cardamom-Cashew Thumbprints with Chocolate-Lime Ganache

Posted Dec 25 2011 7:03pm

 Merry Christmas everyone!

To commemorate the day in delicious style, I offer you my latest cookie creation, an Indian-inspired thumbprint cookie.

I developed this cookie for a recipe contest, but despite being utterly fabulous (all humility aside), it did not capture a prize. But all the better, because the recipe remains my own and I am able to offer it to all of you, dear readers. 

The cookie dough portion of this cookie is no surprise to anyone who know my tastes for sweets: I adore cardamom, cashews, brown sugar and and lime, so why not combine them in one morsel? When I opted to use coconut oil (I am still in the experimentation stage with this luscious stuff) instead of butter, I came close to collapsing in bliss.

I considered jam, marmalade and curd for the filling, but I wanted some "wow." Welcome coconut-lime dark chocolate. And because Christmas cookies need some bling, a sprinkle of red mukhwas (don't they look like tiny Christmas ornaments?) and a pinch of finely grated lime zest.

Joy to the world!

Cardamom-Cashew Thumbprints withChocolate-Lime Ganache

1/2cup roasted, lightly salted cashews
1/4cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8tsp salt
3/4 cup virgin coconut oil (e.g., Spectru m brand)
2 tsp(packed) finely grated lime zest
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( whole wheat pastry flour or an all-purpose GF flour blend may be used)
1/2cup Turbinado sugar

8 oz bittersweetchocolate, chopped
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (e.g., Spectru m brand)
2 tbspfresh lime juice
Optionalgarnishes: Indian red mukhwas (tiny candies), finely grated lime zest

1.Process cashews, brown sugar, cardamom and salt in a food processor untilfinely ground. Add 3/4 cup coconut oil and zest; pulse until blendedand smooth. Add the flour, pulsing until a soft dough begins to form. Transferdough to a medium bowl.

2.Place Turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; roll insugar to coat. Place on wax paper-lined platter and gently press fingertip intoeach ball to create a depression. Cover and refrigerate cookies at least 2 hours.

3.Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove cookies from refrigerator and arrange 1-inchapart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden andjust set. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. 

4.When cookies are cool, prepare filling: Put chocolate and remaining 4 tbsp coconutoil in a small microwave-safe bowl . Microwave on medium power for 1 to 2minutes; stir after the first minute, then stop and stir every 20 seconds untilcompletely melted and smooth. Whisk in lime juice. Fill the depression of eachcookie with chocolate mixture.  Ifdesired, garnish with mukhwas and lime zest. Chill 5 minutes to set ganache.Makes 2-1/2 dozen.

Note:You can buy mukhwas at Indian grocery stores or from online stores such as amazon.com.
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