Martha Stewart’s Thumbprint Cookies

To go with the spicy Tortilla Soup I was making this morning, I thought some cookies with a bit of fruitiness would be perfect.  I had heard of thumbprint cookies but had never tried them.

Martha Stewart has never let me down, so I decided to go with her recipe.

Once I finished the preparation of the dough I was faced with a bowl of crumbs.  There was no way, I thought, that these crumbs could be rolled into balls.

Bowl of crumbs...

For the first batch I took an 1/8 cup of the crumbs and squished them into a ball in my hands.  I pressed my thumb, carefully dunked in water to ensure that it was wet as per the recipe, and ended up crushing my carefully crafted ball.


What was I doing wrong?  I carefully pressed my thumb into the other five on the cookie sheet, using my other hand to keep the dough together before filling the indentation with the heated jam.

Then I remembered that it did suggest on the webpage that the dough could be chilled to make it easier to handle.  So, while the first batch baked I put the rest of the dough into the fridge.

Chilling it for half an hour made no discernable difference when I formed the second batch.  But I had it cracked, form the ball by squishing it hard in your hand, then make it slightly flat before putting it onto the cookie sheet,  then make the indentation and “fix” the cookie round.

Chilling it for an hour made no more difference, than the first half hour. But I had my “squish, squeeze, press, fix” routine down pat by now.

The finished cookies didn’t look as smooth as Martha’s.  But then I didn’t expect them to look as good. 

Thumbprint cookies

But they taste great!

They are almost shortbread but not quite and the little bit of jammy goodness adds the touch of fruit I was craving. 

Yeah, I know jam isn’t fruit as such, but these are cookies!

I made 24 cookies, then decided to chill the rest of the dough overnight to see if that makes it easier to form.  I will update this once I find out! 🙂

Martha Stewart’s Thumbprint Cookies
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
• 3/4 cup jam (any type)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, and beat until completely combined. With mixer on low, add flour, and mix just until incorporated.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Place on baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart.

Moisten thumb with water, and gently press the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1/2 inch wide and inch deep.

In microwave or on stove, heat jam until liquefied; spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation.

Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 18 to 20 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

If storing, place in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Two bites and it's gone!