Tag Archives | thumbprint cookies

Sour Cherry Thumbprints for Valentine’s Day

When I was a kid, I loved Valentine’s Day. Not for it’s romantic implications, but for the simple fact that it was an excuse to take a trip to the craft store for heart-shaped doilies, glitter, and card stock. I would spent weeks making pretty cards for my friends and classmates.

It’s been years since I did anything particularly crafty for Valentine’s Day, but earlier this morning, I started feeling the itch to make something in honor of the holiday.

A couple weeks ago, the folks from Foodstirs* sent me few of their baking and frosting mixes and they’ve been sitting next to my desk, waiting for me to feel inspired to bake.

And so in between wrapping my husband’s birthday presents (he was a Valentine’s baby!) and slicing the last of my Meyer lemons for the dehydrator, I made some cookies.

I have long been of the opinion that you can incorporate jam into nearly any cookie. Thin roll-outs? Turn them into jam sandwiches. Crumbly oatmeal cookie? Grab a baking dish and turn it into a jam-filled bar. And when you decide to make sugar cookies on a whim and have an open jar of sour cherry jam in the fridge? Turn ’em into thumbprints.

I used a tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the dough and then used a wet fingertip to make them impressions (sometimes I use a melon baller for this task, but this dough was a little sticky for the task).

The tart jam is a tasty contrast to the sweet cookies and they look perfectly appropriate for the day.

*They offer baking kits featuring organic and non-GMO ingredients that can be ordered individually or you can subscribe to a monthly delivery. And for the Buffy fans among you, it also happens to be owned by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

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Preserves in Action: Thumbprint Cookies from The Cookiepedia

The Cookiepedia

Thumbprint cookies are a classic way to incorporate homemade preserves into a simple dessert and a favorite of mine. Funny thing though. In the nearly three years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never managed to post a recipe for this sweet little cookie.

inside The Cookiepedia

Then, about a month or so ago, a review copy of The Cookiepedia landed in my mailbox. It’s a charming book, full of beautiful photos and approachable recipes. The recipes are divided by Buttery, Chocolatey, Fancy, Fruity, Spicy and Nutty/Seedy and I hoping to bake from them all. But very best of all, it contains a VERY nice looking thumbprint recipe. It was kismet.

sour cherry thumbprints

Now, before any of you chime in to say that you can’t stand gloppy thumbprints of our collective youth, remember that the quality of the cookie is entirely related the quality of the ingredients you start with. A thumbprint is essentially a lightly sweetened butter cookie that gets the bulk of the flavor from the jam you spoon in. If you use crappy butter and characterless jam, your cookies will be sub-par.

hollow cookies

However, if you use good butter and excellent, homemade jam, your cookies will be exceptional. I used sweet organic butter and two jams from last summer. Half the cookies were filled with chunky apricot jam and the others were filled with sour cherry preserves. The sour cherries made a particularly good cookie filling because they held together really well.

filled thumbprints

You start these cookies by creaming 1 cup unsalted butter with 2/3 cup granulated white sugar. When it’s nice and fluffy, add 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*.

Sift together 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix to combine. At first it will look like there’s no way that it will come together to form a moist dough, but I promise, it will happen.

sour cherry thumbprints

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Scoop dough out into 1 tablespoon sized balls (a cookie scoop makes this MUCH easier. I also use the same one to portion meatballs on a regular basis. It’s a handy tool).

Roll the dough into balls and press a hollow into the center of each cookie with your thumb (dip your thumb into a dish of water every third or fourth cookie to keep the dough from sticking).

thumbprint cookies

Dollop approximately 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are just barely browned (the recipe actually says that they shouldn’t be browned at all, but I like just a bit of color on my thumbprints). Makes between 3 1/2 and 4 dozen cookies.

Eat and enjoy.

*The original recipe does not call for vanilla, but I added it because I’m a vanilla freak.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. My opinions, as always, remain my own.
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