Dec 7, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies 2 Different Ways

We will be featuring a classic cookie recipe each week leading up until Christmas. This week we are featuring the classic thumbprint cookie two different ways. We love thumbprint cookies – and there are SO many different fun things to do with them. We provided a basic cookie recipe for classic thumbprints but we each added our own little twist for the filling. Monica chose a jam filling and Caitlin added chocolate to the cookie and Hershey’s kisses as the filling. We hope you try these and add your own little twist for the holidays.

Caitlin: I absolutely love making (and eating thumbprints), and they’re especially fun if you have little ones that want to help – for some reason sticking their fingers in a little ball of cookie dough is hilarious; at least it is to my little guy. I decided to add some cocoa powder and make chocolate thumbprints (who doesn’t love chocolate, right?) and add a couple different kinds of Hershey’s kisses to the middle; chocolate, of course and white chocolate candy cane kisses. I saw a recipe for chocolate macadamia nut thumbprints, so I decided to follow suit and dunk half of my cookies in crushed macadamias – delicious! So I ended up with about four different kinds – chocolate with peppermint kisses, chocolate with nuts and peppermint kisses, chocolate with nuts and chocolate kisses, then just plain old chocolate on chocolate. Writing this was actually a lot more effort than making the actual cookie…

Monica:  I've always loved jam filled cookies, however, I am extremely particular about the kind I like.  This classic thumbprint cookie recipe is extremely tasty - it is buttery and sweet and the fruit adds a nice contrast of flavors. I also love the old-fashioned aspect of these cookies, they remind me of cookies grandmothers have baked for many generations.  Another great thing about this cookie is how incredibly versatile the recipe is; you can get as creative as you like.  I chose to fill my jam-filled thumbprints with strawberry and apricot jam (two of my favorite flavors).  Just a little side note, when you fill the "thumbprint" with the jam, it tends to spread a bit as it continues to bake, so be sure not to overfill the center!

Ingredient List 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 large egg
3 tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup favorite jam
*If Making the Chocolate Cookies
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside

In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat until well blended.  Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until combined.

**If Making the Chocolate Cookies: Combine the oil with the cocoa powder in a small bowl, then add to the batter. 

Drop dough by rounded tabelspoon (flatten a bit if necessary).  Space the cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake 6 minutes.  Remove cookie sheet from oven.

Working quickly with greased rounded teaspoon or your thumb, gently press a small indentation in center of each cookie, making sure not to press all the way through.  **If using jam, fill each indentation with rounded 1/2 tsp of jam.

Return cookies to oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes longer or until edges are browned.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.  Should make about 20 -24 cookies.

You can add different types of Hershey's kisses to the cookies.

You can add peanut butter to the cookie batter then fill the cookies with chocolates. 

Caitlin: My Christmas playlist gets bigger every year- here are a couple non-traditional favorites from the ever expanding list.
"Just Like Christmas" Low
"The Christmas Song" The Raveonettes
"Donna and Blitzen" Badly Drawn Boy
"Angel, Won't You Call Me" The Decemberists
"Let it Snow" Luscious Jackson
Monica: The holidays are here and I have to add some Christmas songs while I bake holiday cookies. Here are some of my faves:
1)  "Christmastime is Here" A Charlie Brown Christmas album
2)  "River" Sarah McLachlan
3)  "Do You Hear What I Hear?" Mahalia Jackson
4)  "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" John Lennon
5)  "White Christmas, Part 1" Pink Martini

Drink of Choice
Caitlin: Hot chocolate with a little peppermint schnapps and whipped cream!
Monica:  I enjoyed my delicious baked treats with an single shot of espresso and a dollop of whipped cream.

A Recipe to Remember?
Yes - this recipe is a classic and can be made so many different ways!


  1. Yum! I can't wait to try rolling my kisses cookies in nuts this year -- great idea! Another trick I learned was to stick the kiss in right after cookies come out of the oven to avoid crispy chocolate.

  2. Yeah, they're really good with nuts - I think crushed hazelnuts might be a good, too.

  3. I fill mine with nutella.