‘Tis Holiday Baking Season: Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Jan Scott November 18, 2019
Thumbprint Cookies

With the holidays upon us, a well-stocked freezer with dozens of assorted cookies ready for gift giving and holiday eating is always a plus.

I’m a fan of cookies that allow you some flexibility, like a dough that can be baked in three different ways. Thumbprints are a classic example of this concept, as once the dough is made, you can fill it with jam, caramel sauce or peppermint-infused frosting. Toppings can include chocolate drizzle, coconut, crushed candy canes or coloured sprinkles.

A few tips on holiday baking:

  • I like to do my baking over the course of a few weeks, and then package everything up once I’ve made all that I want to bake.
  • If possible, store your cookies in foil or Ziploc bags, with sheets of parchment paper between each layer. Be sure to let your cookies cool completely before packing them away.

What cookies are on your holiday baking list? Any recipes we absolutely must try?

Thumbprint Cookies

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

You’ll Need

  • 1½ cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour

Prep and Cook

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar for 1 minute, or just until combined.
  2. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  3. Add the flour, one cup at a time. Mix until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Dump the dough onto a flour-lined counter and shape it into a flat disc.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

For Jam Thumbprints

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Divide the dough into 1 oz pieces and roll into balls.
  3. Roll the balls into an egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp of water) and then roll it into a bowl of coconut.
  4. Place the balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  5. Using your thumb, press a small indentation into the top of each cookie.
  6. Place ¼ tsp jam into each crevice.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

For Caramel Chocolate Thumbprints

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Divide the dough into 1 oz. pieces and roll into balls.
  3. Place the balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  4. Using your thumb, press a small indentation into the top of each cookie.
  5. Place ¼ tsp caramel sauce (store-bought or homemade) into each crevice.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Melt 2 to 3 oz of chocolate in the microwave or a double broiler. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Place the chocolate in a small Ziploc bag and seal shut. Snip the end off the bag and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Allow the chocolate to set before packaging.

For Peppermint Thumbprints

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Divide the dough into 1 oz pieces and roll into balls.
  3. Place the balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  4. Using your thumb, press a small indentation into the top of each cookie.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Place ¼ tsp peppermint-infused icing (store-bought or homemade) into each crevice.
  7. Garnish the tops of the cookies with crush candy cane pieces.

Good to Know: After baking, you may need to press the indentation down again. Sometimes baking will cause the cookie to rise.

 

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