Thumbprints are one of my favorite cookies. They’re not too soft and not too crunchy. At work we make raspberry and apricot thumbprints, probably the two most common flavors. I had neither jams on hand, but I did have a black cherry preserve so I opted for a cherry-orange flavor instead. I used a recipe I found on King Arthur Flour’s website (btw I am a HUGE KAF fan…I would love to work for them).
Adapted from KAF
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 3/4 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup cherry jam
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.
2) In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and salt until very light.
3) Beat in the egg.
4) Add the flour, stirring until well blended.
5) Use a teaspoon cookie scoop (about 2 measuring teaspoons) or tablespoon cookie scoop (about 4 measuring teaspoons) of dough for each cookie. Scoop cookies onto the baking sheets, leaving space between each cookie.
6) Use your fingertip (for smaller cookies) or thumb (for larger cookies) to put an indentation into the center of each and fill with cherry filling. Note: you may want to cut the cherry pieces if your jam has really large fruit chunks. I used a star tip* and piped the cookie instead of balling them and I used a piping bag to fill the centers, but a spoon works just as well.
7) Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove them from the oven. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes to firm up, then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen to 5 dozen cookies, depending on size.
*If piping, use the dough immediately as it becomes too firm to pipe once it gets cold or sits for some time. Trust me…I tried.
Later on I decided to make another batch for my brother-in-law’s birthday, but did not have my large star tips so I balled them instead. Here’s what they looked like: