I'll Take Foods That Start With the Letter Q, Alex

Tom and I are big fans of the game show Jeopardy! We watch it almost every weekday night over dinner, occasionally yelling at the contestants on TV when one of them gives a particularly bad wrong answer. I always get a kick from seeing Jeopardy! references in other popular media, like when Cliff Claven went on the game show on Cheers, or when Will Farrell does his Alex Trebek impersonation on Saturday Night Live. I also love the storyline from the movie White Men Can't Jump where Rosie Perez's character Gloria studies compulsively for Jeopardy! and comes home a winner after triumphing in the category "Foods That Start With the Letter Q." Every time I hear the word "quince" or "quenelle," I think of the Jeopardy! scene from that movie.

So I had Jeopardy! on my mind earlier this week when I made Giant Thumbprint Cookies and decided to fill them with quince paste. When I rummaged through the fridge to see what potential fillings I had on hand, I found raspberry spreadable fruit, apricot spreadable fruit, quince paste, and greengage plum paste. I wanted to try something different from the raspberry filling I used the last time I made these cookies, so I decided to go with the apricot and quince. The quince paste was a very thoughtful gift from our lickerish friend William, who insists on always bringing us a little gourmet gift whenever he comes over, even though we keep insisting that it isn't necessary to bring us anything. Quince is a fruit that looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear, and quince paste (which is often served as an accompaniment to cheese) is a deep maroon color with a slightly gritty texture reminiscent of a pear.

These cookies turned out fantastic -- crispy, delicate, and very buttery with a light vanilla flavor. The slightly tart quince paste was a perfect filling, and it might be my favorite so far... Thanks, William!

Recipe: "Giant Thumbprint Cookies," from Butter Flour Sugar Eggs: Whimsical Irresistible Desserts by Gale Gand.

Previous Post: "A Lasting Impression: Giant Thumbprint Cookies," February 24, 2009.