Making An Impression

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Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Life just gets in the way sometimes, doesn’t it! I’ve never felt so time-poor and have even wondered myself whether I’d ever get back round to blogging. But blogging and baking are like an old flame, quietly burning away and waiting for the passion to be rekindled.

Still, time moves forward and with it the changing seasons bring irresistible gems… like blood oranges. Yum! I love blood oranges! They’re sweet with a slight bitter edge and have the most magnificently coloured flesh. Transformed into a smooth and tangy citrus curd and coupled with a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth biscuit, these cookies are the ideal way to celebrate another season of beautiful blood oranges and my return to the blog.

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Blood Orange & Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients
~ For the blood orange curd. Makes around 300g
Zest & juice of 2 unwaxed blood oranges
100g caster sugar
A pinch of fleur de sel or sea salt
100g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
4 medium egg yolks

Method
Place the blood orange zest and juice, sugar, salt and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.

Add the egg yolks to a mixing bowl and whisk until they start to turn pale and thicken slightly. Add a small amount of the blood orange mixture to the egg yolks and whisk it in. Gradually add the remaining blood orange mixture, then transfer it to the saucepan and return it to a low heat, whisking continuously until it thickens and a couple of bubbles escape. This could take 10-15 minutes, but don’t be tempted to stop whisking otherwise it will curdle.

Pass the curd through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cover with cling film. Make sure the cling film comes into contact with the surface if the blood orange curd to prevent it from forming a thick skin on top. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Transfer to a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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~ For the cookies. Makes 20
15g poppyseeds
15ml full-cream/whole milk
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature  75g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg yolk
150g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
75g blood orange curd

Method
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius/ 340 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Add the poppyseeds and milk to a small mixing bowl and leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and mix until thoroughly combined. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into the butter mixture and mix until just combined, then stir in the milk and poppyseeds and gently bring the dough together.

Roll the cookie dough into 3-4cm balls and place on the baking trays 5cm apart. Gently flatten each cookie until around 2cm thick and indent the middle with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and using the end of a wooden spoon, gently press down on the indent to make it slightly deeper. Add 1/2 teaspoon of blood orange curd to the centre of each cookie, rotate the tray and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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