WORDS BY SHELBY WILSON
Don’t you just love Christmas and Christmas goodies? I sure do!
These are delicious short bread cookies filled with strawberry or apricot jam-or any jam you like. The are colorful, tasty -and perfect for the holidays!
The cookies are very easy to make- just six ingredients including the salt and vanilla extract. You don’t have to chill the dough, so you can pop them right into the oven! They store easily in an airtight container for up to four days, and make great gifts.
To make these cookies, you’ll start out by mixing up the cookie dough which is just a simple mixture of butter, sugar, egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and flour. Let’s break down each ingredient:
Butter: There are two sticks of butter in these thumbprint cookies to give them that rich buttery taste. I suggest sticking with unsalted butter in these cookies too since the amount of salt in salted butter can vary quite a bit between different brands.
Sugar: I decided to go with granulated sugar for these cookies to help them spread just a little bit. I also like to roll the cookies in a little extra sugar before adding the jam and baking them, but this step is optional.
Egg Yolks: There are two egg yolks in the cookie dough to help keep the cookies soft and not too crunchy!
Vanilla Extract & Salt: Once you cream together the butter and sugar, you’ll mix in some vanilla for flavor and a little salt along with the egg yolks.
All-purpose flour: The flour is mixed in at the very end and the dough will seem a little crumbly at first, but it will come together as you continue mixing it. Just be sure to spoon your flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife, so you don’t end up with too much and crumbly cookies.
Once the cookie dough is mixed up, you’ll use a one tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon to measure out the cookie dough. I find that anything larger than one tablespoon is just too big for a thumbprint cookie.
Next, roll the cookie dough into balls and toss each one in a little granulated sugar. The sugar is optional for this part, but I love the extra crunch and sweetness it adds to the cookies. Then, make an indentation in each cookie using your thumb or something similar. I actually like to use the handle of a large wooden spoon for this step.
Then, fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite jam. I really love Bonne Maman jam, so I used their strawberry and apricot jams.
The final step for this thumbprint cookie recipe is to bake them. When it comes to shortbread cookies, you want to avoid overbaking them because they can end up crunchy and dry. I suggest baking these cookies for about 12-14 minutes, you’ll know they’re done when the tops are set and the bottoms are very lightly browned.
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons (40 grams) for rolling the cookies
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/3 cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1/2 cup strawberry or apricot jam
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the eggs yolks, vanilla extract, and salt until fully combined, then mix in the flour. The mixture will be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as
you continue mixing it.
- Using a one-tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon, measure out the cookie dough, roll into balls, roll each one in granulated sugar (optional), then place on the prepared baking sheets
- Use your thumb (or the handle of a large wooden spoon) to press an indentation into each ball of cookie dough. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the indentation in each one.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.