December 19, 2011

Jam Thumbprints

Every year, I send out cookie gift tins to family and friends. It's one of my favorite activities of the holiday season because I get to combine my love of baking, cookies and gift-giving. My kitchen has been abuzz with cookie-making for the past week and the baking will continue into this week, as I prepare for the Christmas festivities. It's just not Christmas without cookies, is it?

Every day this week, I will be sharing the recipes for the cookies I've made for my gift tins, and on Friday, I'll end the week on a savory note with a declicious appetizer that I've been eating during the holidays since I was little. 

Since I was so busy in the kitchen last week, I didn't take many pictures...in fact, I never picked up my camera at all. Instead, I turned to my trusty iPhone, which is always on the kitchen counter when I'm cooking {gotta keep up with my Twitter feed!}. You'll only see one picture for every cookie recipe, which I took using Instagram, my favorite app--it makes me look like a much better photographer than I actually am.  ;)

So let's get the cookie recipe sharing started with these adorable and delicious Jam Thumbprints. This recipe comes from the 2010 Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine. It's a special issue that comes out every year. It's filled with page after page of beautiful and delicious cookie recipes {and no advertisements!}. 

I love the simplicity of Jam Thumbprint cookies. It's a basic {and easy} butter dough made extra-special with a small dollop of your favorite fruit jam or preserves. I know many of you canned summer fruit this year--this recipe would be a delightful way to put some of your homemade jams to very delicious use. Plus, they are just so pretty on a simple white platter. These are also an easy and fun cookie to make with kids. Just let them roll the dough into balls and take advantage of your kid's tiny fingers to press a perfectly round dimple into each cookie for the jam. Then, enjoy the aroma that will waft out of your oven as they bake and watch them disappear off your dessert table. 

Jam Thumbprints
Adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies {2010 special issue}
Makes about 48 cookies

1 1/2 cups {3 sticks} unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Fruit jam {such as raspberry, apricot, strawberry or blackberry}, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar over medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the paddle and sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure the butter and sugar get mixed thoroughly. Add the egg and mix thoroughly until it is incorporated completely.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the flour, and mix until combined and incorporated. Do not overmix.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape portions of dough into 1-inch size balls and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each dough ball about 2-3 inches apart. 

Moisten your thumb lightly with some water and carefully press an indentation in the center of each dough ball. Using a small spoon {such as a demitasse spoon or a small measuring spoon}, fill each cookie with a small dollop of jam.

Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are a light golden brown at the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before transfering them to a baking rack to cool completely.

To store: These cookies cannot be stacked on top of each other; they must be stored in a single layer so they don't stick together. I lined a clean {and cooled} baking sheet with a sheet of parchement paper, placed my cookies on the baking sheet and then covered the cookies with another sheet of parchment and plastic wrap. They are best eaten within 2 days of being made.

Comments (2)

These are my favorite holiday cookie. I can jam every summer and use that in my cookies!!

12/20/11

Flavia, these cookies look beautiful! I overfilled mine and jelly oozed out all over the baking sheet - they didn't look nearly as pretty, but they tasted good. :-)

Posted by Julie
12/20/11
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