Metric? Imperial? Tablespoons? Ounces? Grams? It is all just so darn confusing! I know what you are thinking – Chef Julianna should be a pro at doing conversions, shouldn’t she? Well, no. You see, I was brought up in an era of measurement confusion. As a kid growing up in Canada, it was clear and easy – imperial measurements were the order of the day. We measured length in inches and feet; distance in miles; weight in pounds; and we baked with cups, teaspoons and tablespoons. I could go into a store and hold a bag of apples in my hands, and instinctively know that it was one pound. Easy, right? Then some bonehead (no names mentioned) decided that Canada would adopt the metric system. What? The radio played little songs so that we would know if we were speeding or not – “ 30 gives you 50 – 50 gives you 80”. The prices of produce now seemed outrageous! Oh, but they were now being expressed in kilos, not pounds. And so the era of confusion began.
Roll the calendar ahead a few decades and I am now comfortable driving in kilometers per hour. I am OK buying fabric by the meter, but I don’t know what a centimeter looks like – I prefer inches. I have no idea how tall I am in centimeters, nor could I tell you my weight in kilos. And in the kitchen? Well, those of you who have been following my blog, know how I measure ingredients. It is imperial all the way. Then I encounter a recipe that I am dying to make, and it is in metric. What to do, what to do?
So here is the story. When Dini, the amazing Flavour Blender posted her recipe, I knew I was going to make these cookies. To her benefit, she gave the measurements in ounces and grams, but she didn’t measure anything in cups. So I set out to convert the recipe to cups. I am very stubborn. I agonized for hours, trying to wrap my brain around it. I was determined to convert 100 grams of cheddar cheese to cups. Well folks, it just doesn’t work nicely, because you can pack a cup more firmly and it weighs far more than 100 grams! In the end, I gave in to the beauty and accuracy of weighing the ingredients. So here, for the first time, I am sharing a recipe with you in metric and weights. Get out your kitchen scales everyone, and enjoy a recipe that will turn out perfectly!
These cookies will be a huge hit over the entertaining season! I only made them once, but dreamed about the flavours for weeks afterwards. They are rich, buttery cheesy cookies with hints of fragrant rosemary and heat of jalapeño, all crumbling into a thick, peppery tomato chutney, accented with the distinctive malty flavour of Jack. If you want to take this recipe to the next level, just top the cookies with slices of your favourite cheese, and don’t forget the wine!
I will be bringing a big plate of my cookies over to everyone at Fiesta Friday. Many thanks to our co-hosts. I will also be sharing this post with Throwback Thursdays, Foodie FriDIY, and Saucy Saturdays. Be sure to check out these awesome link parties and prepare to be mesmerized.
Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam
225 gr unsalted butter, softened
100 gr white cheddar cheese, grated
100 gr Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
leaves of 1 large rosemary sprig, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
25 gr white sugar
190 gr all-purpose flour
150 gr semolina
Tomato Bourbon Jam
454 gr cherry tomatoes
150 gr white sugar
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to your taste)
1 large clove garlic minced
57 gr white onion, diced
pinch of cumin
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)
Chop the grated cheese roughly and mix it with the rosemary and jalapeno. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place the softened the butter, sugar, and salt and cream together. Add the cheese-herb mixture and mix. Add the egg and mix until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and semolina together. Add this in two batches to the butter-cheese mixture and combine to form a dough. You may need to use your hands (well-floured) to bring the dough together. Cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes until the oven has preheated.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper.
Form 1 ½ inch round dough balls and place them on the cookie tray with about 2 inches of space between each (I placed 14 cookies on each tray).
Create a deep well/imprint in each dough ball using a moistened thumb/finger. Fill each well generously with bourbon tomato jam (recipe below).
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Switch the position of the two trays in your oven half way through baking. The cookies should be golden on the bottom and light-golden on top.
Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.
If you’re storing the cookies, DO NOT STACK (the jam will stick to the bottom of the cookies).
Tomato Bourbon Jam
Mix all the ingredients except for the bourbon in a saucepan. Bring the mix to a boil on medium-heat, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mix has come to a boil, increase the heat to keep it at a boil.
Let the mixture boil while stirring and gently crushing the tomatoes with a spoon as they soften. After about 5 minutes of cooking time, add the bourbon and mix through.
The mixture should keep cooking until the liquid has become syrupy and thick. The time depends on the heat of your stove, and how much liquid is present in the tomatoes. The end product will resemble preserves with tomato pieces in it.
This chutney can be stored in mason jars until needed (makes enough for 1 ½ batches of these cookies).