One of my all time favorite cookies that my Mom would prepare for us at Christmas time was her jam thumbprint shortbread cookies. I am blessed to have such delicious memories, and her recipes from those very special holidays. I hope they bring you as much to joy to make as they have our family!
Mom’s Thumbprint Cookies:
Courtesy of Chef Jamie McFadden
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 2 large egg yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar for rolling
- 1/3 cup jam or preserves flavor of your choice – I love rhubarb jam or a raspberry-blackberry blend (50:50)
Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (you may also use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, adding the sugars while beating. Gradually increase mixer speed to medium-high until all ingredients are well-combined, about 1 minute.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, beat well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients until completely combined. This dough will seem very dry and crumbly, so be sure to pause occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. If it starts to strain your mixer you can use your hands to finish working the dough together.
Scoop cookie dough into 1 Tablespoon-sized balls and roll very well (so that the dough is round and there are no cracks).
Roll in granulated sugar and place on a wax-paper covered plate or small cookie sheet. Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon to gently press an indentation into the center of the cookie dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
Transfer cookie dough to freezer and chill for 30 minutes or up to a week.
Once the dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees and place your jam in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat briefly (about 5-10 seconds) or until jam is not hot but is no longer firm and is easy to stir.
Once oven is preheated, place cookies at least 2″ apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, and bake on 375 degrees for 11 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before filling with the warm jam or preserves.