thumbprints for us big guys

I don’t how I managed to go this long without complaining about the grocery store situation in my new little town. There are three grocery stores here – a Walmart, a food thrift store, and a regular store. I know some Walmarts have a good selection, but this one certainly does not. I had high hopes for the regular grocery store at first, but it seems that the longer I shop there, the more frustrated I get.

Today was the last straw. Brisket – I have to buy the whole brisket. What am I going to do with 15 pounds of brisket?! (I know, I’m going to freeze most of it. Still.)

My days of rack of lamb are over. Wheat berries? Fresh fish? Currants? Loose-leaf tea? Please. I couldn’t even find hazelnuts.

Fortunately, these cookies are just as delicious with walnuts instead of hazelnuts. And I guess that’s what it all comes down to – adapting to my new situation and making the best of it. And being grateful for all of the great salsa and green chile that’s available to me now.

Mike from Ugly Food Dude chose these cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie. I added 1 teaspoon of salt to the dough, and with that small change, I’d say that these are one of my favorite recipes from Dorie’s book. They were so soft and tender with wonderful contrasting nut and tart jam flavors.  I loved them.

One year ago: Chocolate Whiskey Cake (another TWD favorite!)


  1. These are beautiful and the kind of cookies you don’t want to shovel into your mouth but eat bit by bit with a cup of tea… Love them!

  2. Bridget, you’re in NM now, right? What small town are you in that only has three grocery stores?

  3. Rachel says:

    The cookies look beautiful! One thing to think about is ordering online (if you haven’t already). You can get all sorts of things that way.

  4. I know your pain! I have to travel 45 minutes just to get some stinkin’ loose leaf tea!

    Hey- At least your cookies turned out great!

  5. bridget says:

    Stephanie – Oops, sorry I never answered your original comment; am forgetful. 🙂 I live in Carlsbad now. I grew up in Albuquerque. And I went to college in Las Cruces, so I’ve really done my tour of the state. 🙂

  6. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile without commenting, but I have to come out now and ask: what is a food thrift store? I’m imagining things like half-full bags of rice.

  7. bridget says:

    Kelly – I don’t really know what the correct term is. It’s just a grocery store with cheaper prices and less selection than most. It would probably be great if I was more into buying things like cake mixes instead of things like whole wheat flour. I do hear that they make their own tortillas and they’re excellent, but so far, I’ve been too lazy to stop there just to get tortillas.

  8. These look amazing! I love desserts with a nut-base. Yum!

  9. Haha, I’ll eat some of the brisket!
    Your cookies look great. I made mine with almonds and they were fantastic!

  10. Oh wow, I guess you do only have three stores then! That really sucks! What brought you to Carlsbad? I’m with Rachel, though…try doing some specialty shopping online!

  11. I am forever in your debt. Adding that 1 tsp of salt made a HUGE difference IMO. Thanks for the tip! Glad to see that walnuts worked out. Might have to keep that in the mental rolodex for next time. So sorry about your current lack of Trader Joes, Whole Foods, non-Walmart options. Welcome to Carlsbad! hehe. Maybe that could be the city’s slogan. Come here for the brisket. Stay for the… I got nothing. KIDDING!

  12. Lovely looking cookies! These are now one of my favourite Dorie recipes too 🙂

  13. Using walnuts was a great idea! I bet they were delicious.

    I’m so spoiled, living in the San Francisco Bay area. If we don’t have it in San Jose I don’t have far to go to find it. And our Whole Foods has everything.

  14. Those look excellent! So sorry to hear about the store situation. I’m spoiled as well. Lots of good stores in a short radius.

  15. Your cookies look fabulous – wish I’d thought to add some salt to this recipe! Bummer about the grocery store situation. I don’t have the best selection here either, but it sounds like it’s slightly better than yours.

  16. Hmm, I’m not familiar with the area. Are there independent merchants, such as a butcher or a small pastry shop, that can provide you with more ingredients even though the per-unit cost is higher?

    All the Wal-Marts I’ve been to uniformly suck, honestly, in terms of groceries. The only raw materials there are flour, and maybe sugar. Maybe.

  17. bridget says:

    Manggy – HAHAHAHAH!!! No. There are not small stores either. There is a butcher, but their selection, oddly, is no better than the grocery store. There is also a small natural food store – it’s mostly vitamins and supplements, but I have picked up some nice ingredients there (whole wheat pastry flour, quinoa, pearl barley), although they’re pricey.

  18. Your cookies look very good. I loved this easy and they were tasty!

  19. Beautiful cookies!

  20. Oh, shucks. BUT I’m pretty sure there are ways to get very good loose-leaf tea and nuts of all varieties online (for a price). Here, if you’re not resourceful enough to know which shops sell what (we do have a specialty nut shop in some malls, for example, but it’s really a cart and they tend to move around), you’re going to have to know a guy who knows a guy, etc.

  21. How funny about the salt… I didn’t feel it needed any, while others did! Either way – they were great cookies – and love how wide yours spread. They look fantastic! Mine tended to stay upright. I’m with the others – I’ll take a shipment of brisket anyday!

  22. Perhaps time to start buying in bulk. r start a buying club with like-minded carlsbadians.

  23. sandy says:

    Hi – got onto this website by accident but saw your cookies and decided to read. I too am from New Mexico. Last lived in Capitan/Fort Stanton so I know what you mean by only a few grocery stores. We didn’t even have 3 and definitely no Wal-Mart when I lived there. I make thumbprint cookies every year for Christmas but will give your recipe a try. Thanks