My friend and I made these for a Christmas baking exchange I hosted at the end of November. Aren’t they pretty and festive?!

This recipe is from the Christmas Cookies magazine by Better Homes and Garden, with a few slight changes in the thumbprint ideas below the recipe. These are fun to make with children!

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

2/3 cups butter, softened (I used stick margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Bet in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets. Shape dough into 1″ balls. Roll balls in whatever “topping” you desire (see below for suggestions). Using your thumb, make an indentation in each dough ball.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. If cookie centers puff during baking, re-press centers with the rounded side of a measuring teaspoon. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Just before serving, fill centers with your choice (see below for ideas).

Thumbprint Ideas

Festive Thumbprint (first picture above):
Roll balls in coarse red, green or any other type of sugar. Bake as directed, on un-greased cookie sheets. You can fill the indentation with icing!
Optional: reduce vanilla to 1/2 tsp, and add 1/2 tsp mint extract.

Candy Cane Thumbprint (second picture above):
Roll balls in crushed candy canes. Bake as directed, on un-greased cookie sheets. You can fill the indentation with icing!
Optional: reduce vanilla to 1/2 tsp, and add 1/2 tsp mint extract.

Choco-Loco Thumbprint:
Reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups. Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with flour. Roll balls in 2 lightly beaten egg whites and then in 1 cup chocolate-flavor sprinkles. Bake as directed. Immediately after removing cookies from oven, press a Hershey kiss milk chocolate with caramel into each indentation.

Peanut Butter and Jam Thumbprint:
Roll balls in 2 lightly beaten egg whites and then in 1 cup finely chopped peanuts. Bake as directed. Cool. Spoon 1/2 tsp creamy peanut butter into each thumbprint indentation. Top the peanut butter in each indentation with about 1/2 tsp grape or strawberry jelly.

Linzer Thumbprint:
Bake cookies as directed, cool. Place 2/3 cup powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Add cooled cookies; shake to coat. Remove cookies from bag, shaking off excess powdered sugar. Fill each thumbprint with about 1/2 tsp raspberry jam. Top jam with toasted sliced almonds.

Lemon-Coconut Thumbprint:
Add 1 tsp finely shredded lemon, lime, or orange peel to dough. Roll dough balls in 2 lightly beaten egg whites and then in cup toasted shredded coconut. Bake as directed. Fill each indentation with 1/2 tsp lemon curd or lime curd.

Almond-Cherry Thumbprint:
Reduce vanilla to 1/2 tsp, and add 1/2 tsp almond extract. Roll balls in 2 lightly beaten egg whites and then in 1 cup finely chopped slivered almonds. Bake as directed, cool. Fill each indentation with a heaping teaspoon of cherry pie filling, place a pie-filling cherry on each cookie.

Shared at Secret Recipe Club’s cookie party!

About these ads