Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies

Mmm, thumbprint cookies.  All the Tuesdays With Dorie people were making these last week (Thumbprints for Us Big Guys), and it reminded me that I have a pretty sweet thumbprint cookie recipe of my own, courtesy of The Boxcar Children: Mystery on the Ice.  These bite-sized treats are always a hit, and I make them all the time -- for holiday parties, potlucks, and basically any other social event that calls for food.

This recipe is similar to the TWD one, but a little less involved.  Just mix together butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, roll into balls, press down the center of each ball, fill the indent with jam, and bake. Boom, done in less than 40 minutes.

These may be called "thumbprint" cookies, but I never use my thumb to make the indents.  It's so much prettier and more uniform when I press the dough down with my pointer finger.  Should these be called..."pointer finger print cookies" instead?  Doesn't really have the same ring to it.

My mom asks me to make these cookies every Christmas when we have guests over, because not only are they delicious, but they're also pretty and festive-looking.  I like to use strawberry jam, but other flavors work just as well.  Sometimes, if I'm feeling really wild, I'll go with apricot or blackberry jam for some color contrast.

These cookies are so easy to eat (just pop a whole cookie in your mouth!) and melt-in-your mouth delicious -- it's impossible to stop at just one!

Thumbprint Cookies (Adapted from Boxcar Children recipe)

- 1-1/2 sticks butter

- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1-1/2 cups flour (The original recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, but I found the resulting cookies to be too hard and powdery. After playing around with the recipe, I found 1-1/2 cups to 1-3/4 to be the perfect amount of flour for soft and melty cookies)
- Jam of choice


(1) Preheat oven to 350.

(2) Cream butter until smooth. (I've also used melted butter for this recipe, but creamed butter produces cookies with a better consistency for some reason.)

(3) Mix sugar with butter. Add egg.

(4) Gradually stir in flour. (Consistency of dough should be almost like Play-Doh -- if it's still sticky to the touch, add up to 1/4 cup of flour.)

(5) Roll dough into 1 inch balls.

(6) Make indents in the center of each ball. Fill with jam.

(7) Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until jam is bubbly and the edges of the cookies are golden brown.

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