I officially start the holiday season doing two things. For one, I’ll start using my Santa coffee mug for everything, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, you name it. I got it as a gift years ago and every time it comes out it screams Christmas! The second would definitely be baking all kinds of goodies, especially cookies. I’ve already shared great recipes on the blog and here are the links for a few of them if you want to give them a go: Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and of course,Gingerbread Men & Women Cookies. But the ones I end up making the most are this wonderful thumbprint cookies.
And what is so great about these thumbprint cookies? In one word, their simplicity. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular, especially during the holidays, that, and the fact that they are flaky and buttery all at the same time. Plus, with just a handful of ingredients, you’ll end up making about 30 of these wonderful cookies, yet another reason why people choose to give them away as presents during this festive time of year.
WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL YOU NEED?
- Butter: For that great butter flavor.
- Powdered sugar: Yum!
- Vanilla extract: This will add a great deal of flavor and I highly recommend using the pure vanilla extract to take these cookies to another level.
- Egg Yolk: Egg whites will not be needed for this recipe.
- Flour: Of course!
- Jam: Y0ur choice. I always tend to use strawberry and/or apricot.
One thing I have found is that the amount of flour you need can vary depending on where you make them and the weather. I live in the sate of Colorado which is extremely dry, so when I make them at home I tend to use about 2 cups of flour. However, when I make them in a environment where there is a higher level of humidity, I tend to use more. In any case, you can fix your dough by either adding a little bit of milk to make it less crumbly or adding more flour if it’s too sticky and wet.
A FEW TIPS
- Make sure to pre-heat your oven. This should always be done when baking. If your oven does not have the pre-heating option, you can set it to the desired temperature and wait about 15-20 minutes before baking.
- Do not store the dough in the fridge to avoid cracks. I have seen a lot of recipes where they do recommend doing so but I am completely against it. Cold air dries out the moisture out of any dough, especially dough that has a high amount of butter.
- Use butter and not margarine. Margarine is made from vegetable oil and it won’t give you the same texture and flavor.
- You can roll your cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before baking for an extra level of sweetness.
- Store them in a tight container for up to 5-7 days.
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (83g) powdered sugar
- 1 large (18g) egg yolk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp (pinch) salt
- 2 ¼ cups (225g) all purpose flour (You may need more or less. See notes)
- Pre-heat oven at 325°F (163°C).
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well.
- Add flour and mix it well with the other ingredients until it's nice and smooth.
- Make small balls with the dough and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. The balls should measure about 1 tbsp and you can use a small ice cream scoop to make them all the same size.
- Slightly flatten the top of each ball with your fingers and then with your thumb, or the end of a large wooden spoon, make a small well in the center of each cookie.
- Fill each well with about ½ tsp of jam.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown on the bottom.
Depending on how much moisture there is in the air, you may need more or less flour. Start with 2 cups and then increase accordingly. -- About 30 cookies weighing 30g each will come out of this recipe. -- Store them in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days.