Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are a nice and decorative way to add color and flavor to any table.  Not only are they tasty and relatively easy to prepare, but I find them a handy way to use up the mini jam and jelly jars, which tend to arrive in the holiday food gift packages.  Using the mini jars of jams and jellies as filling in these cookies will create a variety of colors in each batch and put the mini jars of jams and jellies to immediate use. 

Of course, if you just want to make a batch of the cookies, there is nothing wrong with just using your favorite jam, which is likely setting in your refrigerator.

Thumbprint CookieIngredients      

Cookie Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unshifted powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Cookie Filling

  • 1/2 cup fruit jam, divided

Thumbprint CookieDirections

  • Preheat the oven to 325o F (165 o C).
  • Combine butter and powdered sugar together with a spatula until creamy.
  • Add and combine with a spatula, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and egg yolk.
  • Add flour and combine with a spatula until just combined.
  • Using a small scoop, portion dough into 1/2-ounce (I-tablespoon size) balls.
  • Roll balls in a plate of white sugar to coat; roll again between your palms.
  • Place cookie dough balls several inches apart on a silicone-lined baking sheet.
  • Flatten balls slightly with a small plate or smooth spatula.

To Make Jam Promament Cookies

  • For more jam-faced cookies, press your thumb into each cookie to make a wider, shallow, indentation in each cookie.
  • Fill the indentation with jam.
  • Gently Tap baking sheet against the counter to settle the let jam.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven (about 15 minutes ) until the cookie tops are barely blonde and bottoms are slightly golden.
  • Let the cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

What is Fruit Butter?

Apple and Rhubarb Fruit Butte
Apple and Rhubarb Fruit Butter

Fruit Butter is a preserve, much the same as Jams and Jellies, which once cooked to a paste has a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency and an excellent accompaniment for toast, scones, and bread.  However, fruit butter is much lower in sugar and sweeteners.  Fruit butter is an old concept, which has been in use, at least, since the 1700’s.