This Thumbprint Cookie recipe has been the most popular recipe of the quarantine by far! I’ve done this recipe twice already: the first time was for a virtual tea party we had planned to do in the spring in person but instead transitioned to Zoom due to the pandemic and the second time was with a bunch of friends at once. Everyone had the ingredients in their kitchens and everyone loved the cookies at the end!
For the virtual tea party, I was looking for a recipe that would be fitting for an afternoon high tea but most of the recipes were quite complex and required a lot of different ingredients. Then I stumbled upon this recipe for thumbprint cookies that required very few ingredients (all of which are common kitchen staples) and also let us each customize them in a way with what we put on top of the cookies. The cookies were fun to make together and they also paired really nicely with our teas.
The “customization” came in different forms. For example, when we baked these cookies for the tea party, I used raspberry jam but my sister used strawberry jam for some of the cookies and then used caramel for others (although she did note putting too much caramel does not work out well). My mom on the other hand used a blackberry marmalade that is very special to our family. My grandfather built a children’s park called “Pueblito Sueños del Abuelo” by creating a tiny town with typical buildings you would find in a town like a local school, a church, a general store, a bank, and homes, which all surround a central plaza with a fountain. We grew up going to this amazing place and playing in the tiny houses and seeing the other kids have so much fun as well. In addition to building the park, my grandfather made different foods from the harvest of his crops and one of those items was the most amazing marmalade. The land this park is built on is very conducive to growing blackberries and he made a delicious blackberry marmalade (and he actually used my baby picture on the label and they’re called “Mermaladas Claudia”).
It was so great to see her use it for these cookies that we baked together for our virtual tea party!
Many people during this pandemic have had to celebrate birthdays apart from their loved ones. At the beginning of all of this, I thought we would be back to “normal” by the time my birthday came around after two months of staying at home but boy was I wrong! I never would have imagined we would still need to stay at home by the end of May but alas, we had to adapt and my family and friends truly made me feel so happy and special on my birthday this year and I am so grateful. While we were all on the Zoom party, we started talking about Baking with Friends and decided we would do a session the same weekend. As I was searching for recipes to send over quickly, this recipe popped in my mind and so I sent everyone the recipe to see if they had the ingredients and they did! We all used different flavors of jams and some even put chocolate chips on top and they came out really nicely, again.
I grew up with these ladies and I consider them my family. It was so great to be able to enjoy a Saturday afternoon with them as we made these fun, easy, and delicious cookies. We even had some special guests join in on the fun! It was one of our friends’ brother’s birthday and when he joined in we all sang happy birthday to him and another one’s sons FaceTimed his mom during the call and we all said hi via the wonders of technology! And there were plenty of helpers and taste testers step in throughout the call to get in on the fun of baking. This recipe is officially one of my top go-to’s for Baking with Friends and I hope you enjoy it as much as we all have!
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons (40 grams) for rolling the cookies
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/3 cups (290 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1/2 cup strawberry or apricot jam
1.Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the eggs yolks, vanilla extract, and salt until fully combined, then mix in the flour. The mixture will be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as you continue mixing it.
3. Using a one-tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon, measure out the cookie dough, roll into balls, roll each one in granulated sugar (optional), then place on the prepared baking sheets.
4. Use your thumb (or the handle of a large wooden spoon) to press an indentation into each ball of cookie dough. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the indentation in each one.
6. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe from Live Well Bake Often