My mom's family is from Kentucky. So even though I was born and raised on the West Coast, I like to think I have a little bit of Southern Charm somewhere in me. I am not actually sure I can explain to you what Souther Charm means - but I like saying I have some. So if anyone asks, that is the story we are going to go with.
What I can explain to you about the South is that they take their food very seriously. These guys like it deep fried, cheesy, or smothered in butter - and when they can manage it, they like to combine all three. Food in the South is good - and when I say good, I don't mean "good for you". I mean, straight up, mouthwatering, make you wanna pass out it is so delicious kind of good.
Now I have made countless trips to Kentucky in my 25 years of life - so I think it is fair to say I have a pretty good understanding of the local cuisine. My favorite, hands down, has to be the local bakery. Magee's has been a staple in Lexington food scene since it opened in the 1950's. It is a small family run shop that churns out everything from delicious doughnuts, to decadent cakes to my family's favorite, thumbprint cookies.
I don't know if I have ever made a trip to Kentucky without eating a thumbprint cookie. And what is so great about them (besides their deliciousness) is that you can totally customize them. They are perfect for any occasion because you can just switch up the colors of the icing. This weekend happens to be the 4th of July - so we went with a red white and blue theme. But, you can make them anything you want. Or, if you just want them for yourself, skip the food coloring and stick with the basic white. Whatever color you choose - you won't be disappointed with the end result.
Red White and Blue Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon meringue powder
- 3 tablespoons water
- Red and blue food coloring
for the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined.
- Put the mixer on low speed and add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out a small portion of dough.
- Using your thumb make an indent in the middle of the cookie.
- Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes.
- As soon as they come out, use the bottom handle of a wooden spoon to redefine the thumbprint marks.
- Set on a wire rack to cool.
for the icing
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and meringue powder.
- Add water and mix until it becomes smooth.
- Divide icing into three portions. Using a toothpick and food coloring, color one portion blue and one portion red.
- Place plastic wrap over the icing, and wait until the cookies are cooled.
- Once the cookies have cooled, add a small amount of icing to each thumbprint mark.
- Set aside until the icing hardens.