Coconut-Lime Thimbles with Blackberry Jam

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This time last year, I was on the cusp of marrying my best friend.  We were hopelessly cutting out paper hearts to glue on sticks, staying up late to fashion elements of our DIY wedding together. The leaves were just beginning to gather in a rusty pattern beneath the trees and the early mornings, filled with a certain thrilling chill, were further evidence of the forthcoming season. At the time, our pending nuptials were a bright spot on our otherwise mundane circumstances. The Mister worked from home, cold calling customers for his small business while I worked nearly full time serving tables. Still. 

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By this time, I was long over the restaurant grind. I would often come home in tears, even during such a happy time, frustrated with my job. The Mister, like clockwork,  would comfort me in the kitchen, kissing my tear streaked face, telling me that it wasn't always going to be this way. He would say "You just keep writing and things will change", "Do what you love until somebody pays you for it."  I was desperate for a new season.

Like a real adult, I continued to show up for my unfulfilling work responsibilities even as my discontent grew. Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do when you don't want to do it. 

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The Mister was right. Everything changed. A new season swept through our lives with furious gusto and nothing is the same. His career changed. Mine too. These days, I am impossibly overwhelmed in the best ways.  Writing deadlines, delightfully unexpected travels and life, wonderful life, has swept me up into its wide open arms and I have given myself over to it, knowing full well that it won't always be this way.

 

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Coconut-Lime Thimbles with Blackberry Jam                                                                                                                           (slightly adapted from Nikole Herriott's recipe for Lottie + Doof

I made these cookies early in the summer, when the blackberries were just coming into season. I made jam with my haul using this recipe here. I did mine without the pectin. However, since blackberries are out of season, you can substitute a store-bought jam. These cookies are shortbread-like, buttery and a tad crumbly. The citrus lends a pleasant brightness and the jam, just enough sweetness to the mix. 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

1 large egg, separated  

Zest of 2 limes  

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

pinch salt  

3/4 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1/4 cup blackberry jam  

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this with a hand mixer. While the butter and sugar mix, separate the egg yolk from the white and set aside. Whisk the egg white and set in a separate bowl.  Place the coconut into another bowl and set beside the bowl with the egg white. Once the butter and sugar come together, add the egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated. Add zest and lime juice and mix again. Add the flour and pinch of salt and mix until dough just starts to come together using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the dough forms a solid mass, you are ready to assemble the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a small ball. Coat the ball in the egg white and then roll in the shredded coconut. Place the ball on the baking sheet and gently press down to flatten into a cookie. Using your thumb, impress your thumbprint into the center of the cookie. Spoon a bit of jam into the center and repeat until the baking sheet is full, leaving about two inches between each cookie. 

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are golden.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 20 cookies.