Another classic in any holiday cookie collection is the thumbprint. I’m fond of a version developed by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen. They use a technique that partially bakes the dough, then makes the indentation, fills it and finishes baking. The result is a prettier cookie, with none of the jam running over the sides. Plus the jam doesn’t get that overcooked flavor from too long in the oven.
You can use any seedless jam you want to fill the centers of these morsels. Red is obviously a good choice for the holiday. I’m partial to strawberry and red raspberry jam.
Bonus Baking Tip: Don’t start a recipe until you’ve read it through completely. Nobody likes to get half way through making cookie dough to realize they don’t have all the ingredients.
HOLIDAY JAM THUMBPRINTS
Makes 3 to 4 dozen
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless jam, any flavor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
Beat butter in another bowl until creamy. Add sugar. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese, egg and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Add dry ingredients. Beat until just blended.
Using about 2 teaspoons for each cookie, roll into balls. Arrange on prepared baking sheets. Use thumb to make a small indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Use the underside of a rounded teaspoon to reindent the original thumbprint. Fill indentations with jam. Return to oven and bake until cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.