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The Great Savvy Bake-Off Recipe #2


One of my favourite holiday cookies growing up was what we called a Jam Thumbprint cookie. Without fail, my mom made them every Christmas. And, even before we became moms ourselves, my sister and I added Jam Thumbprints to our holiday recipe file. Today, they are still one of my favourite Christmas cookies. Each year, the three of us contribute a selection of our best holiday baking to share with the rest of the family on Christmas Day, and we all include our own version of the Jam Thumbprint cookie.
I didn’t choose to include this cookie in our SavvyMom bake-off for nostalgic reasons alone. At first glance, rolling the dough into balls may seem quite labour-intensive, but in all honesty, Jam Thumbprint cookies are quite simple to make. The name “thumbprint” comes from the action of pressing your thumb into the shortbread-like dough to create space for the jam filling. My kids love to help with this step.

This childhood favourite holiday cookie was well received by the cookie testers at Savvy HQ:”sweet, but not overwhelming. Nice hint of nut, moist, light and delicious.”

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut
  • ¾ cup jam (any flavour)

Prep and Cook

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until creamy.
  • Separate the eggs. Whisk the whites until foamy and set aside.
  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter and sugar and mix well at medium speed.
  • Slowly add flour and salt and mix at low speed until combined.
  • Toss nuts and coconut together on a plate.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into balls, approximately 1“ in diameter.
  • Dip balls in egg white wash and then roll in walnut/coconut mixture.
  • Place balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets about 1” apart.
  • Using a small spoon or your thumb, press a shallow indentation in the top of the cookie.
  • Drop a small amount of jam in the indentation.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cookies are slightly firm.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before removing them from the tray.

Good to know: unless the recipe calls for salted, always use unsalted butter when baking cookies. I like to use raspberry jam, but any preferred jam or marmalade will do.

What is your favourite holiday cookie?

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