It’s almost Christmas, which can only mean one thing – time to make a billion cookies. Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, peppermint cookies, hot cocoa cookies…so many cookies to choose from, so little time to cram them into my mouth. Nom nom nom, cookie cookie cookie.
In my family, the only type of cookie that matters this time of year is thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam. Not raspberry, not blackberry, not (shudder) orange or apricot – STRAWBERRY. Cuz, you know, strawberry jam is red, and red is festive (raspberry jam is also red, but it’s not as delicious so why bother?). Our holiday devotion to these jammy thumbprints is so rabid that everyone expects to see these cookies at our family’s annual Christmas party. I don’t even know when this tradition started exactly – I just know that I found the recipe in a Boxcar Children book (Mystery on Ice, maybe?), made one batch for a summer picnic party, and then all of a sudden it was a must-have Christmas treat. Go figure.
These cookies really are amazing, though. Unbelievably easy to make – with only 5 basic ingredients and no fancy handiwork involved, I can have two dozen of these on a plate in under 45 minutes from start to finish. And they taste awesome – buttery, sweet, jammy and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Once you eat one, it’s physically impossible to not reach for another…and another. Yes, they are the Pringle of the cookie world. And they are hands down my favorite cookie, any time of the year.
** I’ve posted this recipe before, back when my blog was just starting out. The pictures were a little…blah…so I thought I’d repost with prettier ones!
- 1-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups flour (For whatever reason, depending on where I’m baking, sometimes the dough works with 1-1/2 cups, other times I need that extra ¼ cup. Use your judgement – dough should be pliant and non-sticky)
- Jam of choice
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with a spoon or electric mixer until smooth.
- Add egg and mix well.
- Gradually stir in 1-1/2 cups flour. (Consistency of dough should be almost like Play-Doh — if it’s still sticky to the touch, try chilling your dough for 30-60 minutes, or, if you don’t want to that long you can add up to ¼ cup extra flour.)
- Using your hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place rolled dough onto prepared baking sheet.
- Using your thumb (or index finger), press gently into the center of each ball to create a dent.
- Fill dents with jam.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until jam is bubbly and the edges of the cookies are slightly golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.