Thumbprints with Berry Jam

Preheat oven to 350°F
Makes: 4 dozen cookies

I have to thank my older sister for inspiring this recipe. The homemade batch she brought to our Christmas dinner last year got so many oohs and ahhs, I had to step up my thumbprint game. In the spirit of friendly sibling rivalry, I skipped asking for her recipe and instead tried to one-up her with my own. Call it a tie, sis?

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup assorted fruit jams*

* if the preserves are too thick or sticky to spoon easily into the holes, just melt it a bit in a small saucepan.

1. Cream together the butter and sugar for several minutes, until they look light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.

2. Mix together flour and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until smooth.

3. Tear off small chunks of the dough and roll them quickly between your palms to form 3/4 -inch balls. Before putting each one onto the baking sheet, press your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon into the center to make a hole large enough to fit about 1 teaspoon of filling.

4. Place the cookies on parchment-lined sheets and drop in the jam right from the teaspoon. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are set but not yet browning. Let cool completely before storing.

Tip if the jam centers don’t look full enough, drop in more jam while cookies are still hot from the oven.

Make ’em your way

Fill these little cookies with anything you like. Their simple flavor and shape adapt well to almost any filling.

Lemon Thumbprints: Replace the jam with store-bought lemon curd.

Chocolate Thumbprints: Bake cookies without any filling. Then drop in teaspoonfuls of prepared chocolate pudding, chocolate frosting or ganache while they’re still warm.

Excerpted from Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando Copyright © 2011 by Stacy Adimando. Excerpted by permission of Quirk Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher.


Next delicious cookie idea: No peanuts? Try almond butter instead