Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Soon I will have to change my blog introduction to “Welcome to my (tiny) slightly larger kitchen! I am a social worker graduate student who works, lives, and plays studies in the amazing city of San Francisco Seattle!…”

Yes it’s true I’ve been busy preparing for a big out-of-state move and one of my biggest challenges will be to use up all the food and ingredients I have in the kitchen! I decided to make Jam Thumbprint cookies to bring to work.

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But I will confess- I had ulterior motives:  I needed to get rid of the jars of fruit jams/preserves in my fridge! 

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I don’t usually care for “regular” jams like Smuckers strawberry, but I have collected some pretty unique flavors: Lingonberry (with IKEA’s meatballs-SO good.)preserves, Trader Joe’s Fig Butter, Hawaiian Sun Pineapple Jam (gift from HI), and locally-made Blue Chair Strawberry-Blood Orange Jam with Rosemary (so good with fancy cheese).

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The cookie base is your standard butter cookie recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup jam of your choice

I excluded the sugar for rolling, because I definitely did not want any more sugar added to it and other versions of this recipe did not call for it.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt together.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer (I’d recommend the stand mixer if you have one unless you have really buff arms and powerful handmixer) whip the softened butter and sugar until it’s fluffy, for about 5 mins. Beat in the egg and vanilla until it’s just combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.

I found the dough WAY too sticky and soft to roll, so I placed it in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie scooper and place them about 2-inches apart on the baking sheets.

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Here’s the fun part:

Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. I used the back of a clean measuring spoon for cleaner and more uniform indentations.

Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam. Be sure not to over fill with jam, it will melt while baking and spill over the cookies and it won’t look neat and pretty.

Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.) Cool cookies on the baking sheets.

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I made pineapple jam thumbprints, fig butter thumbprints, and strawberry-blood orange jam thumbprints! The butter cookie was rich, soft and not too sweet to balance out the flavors of the jam. Great with a cup of tea!

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