I had a potluck to go to this past weekend at a relative’s house, and having just finished with finals this year, there was no excuse not to bring some sort of baked contribution. I knew there was going to be a handful of kids at the potluck, mostly under age 10, so I wanted to bring something that would be decadent enough for the adults but also fun for the kids to eat, so something bite-sized would be ideal. And knowing that all the adults were going to be Asian, I knew I would have to go with a recipe that wasn’t too sweet either. Well, out of all those goals, I accomplished them all except for one… the adults ate all the cookies and left none for the kids! Haha so considerate.
Jam thumbprint cookies are one of my favorites – my parents used to buy some of the more processed kind from the grocery store when I was little, and I remember I always had a very particular way of eating them. First I would carefully eat the entire rim of cookie that had no jam on it, until I was left with only a disc of jam-topped cookie in the middle. Then I would pop that part in my mouth and enjoy the chewy sweet-tart jam taste at the end. It was almost like eating two entirely different cookies, win-win! Anyway, for the potluck, I had a super simple recipe that I saw on Martha Stewart’s website a while ago. It has only 5 ingredients, is a no-brainer to whip up, and has the most wonderful, buttery cookie base. I also had 2 different jams sitting in my fridge that I had been antsy to use for baking (since I don’t really eat jam on bread), so this was the prefect opportunity, as the recipe will use up practically a whole cup of jam. My selections included your basic Smucker’s raspberry jam, as well as deluxe blueberry preserves with whole blueberries, mmm…
Isn’t that blueberry jam gorgeous? I made half of the cookies with the raspberry jam, which came out with a smooth and beautiful glossy finish in the centers. Melting the jam before filling the cookies was essential to giving them such a smooth finish – no more of the messy, bubbly-looking jam centers! For the other half of the cookies I used the blueberry jam, portioning 1-2 blueberries into each cookie, which looked a little funny since I’ve never seen jam thumbprint cookies with actual berries in them, but biting into a real blueberry is delightful :)
Jam Thumbprint Cookies (makes 4-5 dozen 2-inch wide cookies)
Recipe adapted from Marthastewart.com
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature or slightly cooler (note: the warmer your butter is, the more the cookies will spread)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Approx. 1 cup jam, any flavor
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. I did not want my cookies to spread too much, so I softened the butter in the microwave for a little bit instead of letting it all come to room temperature. This cooler butter made it a little difficult to cream with the sugar at first, but after working at it for a minute or two it was nice and fluffy.
3. Add egg and beat until smooth.
4. Turn mixer down to low, add the flour, and mix until just incorporated.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on foil-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Using your thumb, make an indentation about 1/2-inch deep in each ball. Fix the edges of the cookie as needed so that the indentation is round and completely surrounded (to prevent your jam from leaking out later).
6. Melt your jam in a microwave until it is completely liquid (30 seconds for 1/2 cup of jam was enough for me). Spoon 1/2 tsp of jam into each cookie (or enough to fill 3/4 of the indentation you made).
7. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes until edges start to turn golden-brown. Cool slightly before removing cookies from foil to cool completely (the jam centers are more delicate and if you try to pull them off right away the bottoms might break).
These jam thumbprints will be more crispy when fresh from the oven, and then will soften overnight. They freeze wonderfully – I have 2 dozen in my freezer that I’m enjoying a few at a time :P The buttery aroma of these cookies is so addictive, you won’t be able to stop at one!