I made these lovely jewel cookies over the Christmas holidays, and did not bother to post them until now. I certainly was so perfect, buttery, and the different fillings, other than just the plain jams made a huge difference. So light,flaky, and melt in your mouth. You just couldn't stop at one, since the different jams, including my homemade mango jam, seedless raspberry, lemon curd, and the most favorite was the Nutella filling that the kids loved the most!
Creation of the 'Thumbprint Cookies' came from the 19th century, either from Sweden, or the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. It's such a versatile, popular holiday cookie with so many variations. Of course it's self explanatory about the 'thumbprint'...in which, one will press with the thumb in the center of the cookie dough, for jam filling. The jam can be filled while baking the cookies, or after it has been baked. I make mine both ways, but I do prefer to fill the cookies after it has been baked to enjoy the filling more!
You can't deny how flaky and light these cookies are...and just look at the 'jewel like' filling ones...and oh, I forgot the I also used orange marmalade filling, as well, but the Nutella filling was every one's favorite, except the lemon curd filling. It was not my homemade lemon curd, but if you find a nice bright yellow colored lemon curd in a specialty store, or your favorite supermarket, just grab it, because it will show that it's very fresh, vibrant and true lemony flavor! Never mind the cost, which is not really cheap...it's well worth it, rather than using the 8 egg yolks, and all that butter and fresh lemon juice, plus time consuming, can be costly as well!
The best part is the sharing...pack most of them up in a plastic container, just make sure you overlap them carefully, otherwise they will smear! This is the only time I wish that I had baked them with the filling...instead fill them afterwards, but I assure you, this way it has a more intense flavor from the various jams, lemon curd, and Nutella filling...yumm!
I used the recipe from my trusted Gourmet magazine, from Dec. of 2007...which they called it Trios, because 3 cookies were joined together and baked that way, but for me it did not sound logical, just to break them apart!
THUMPRINT COOKIES...A.K.A. TRIOS
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
About 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
About 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
Equipment: a 1/2-inch-thick wooden spoon handle or dowel
Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.
Assemble and bake cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll 3 separate level teaspoons of dough each into a ball, then flatten each ball slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Arrange them in a triangle on baking sheet with edges touching in center, then make a deep indentation in center of each round with wooden spoon handle. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
Fill indentations in each cookie with about 1/88 teaspoon jam (each cookie should have 3 different fillings), avoiding any large pieces of fruit.
Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.
Note: This is a fail proof recipe, whether you make them separate or make the 'trios' is up to you...they will turn out perfect, each and every time! Also with the filling, before baking, or after baking, works either way!
Another amazing thumbprint cookies I will want to make, which has lemon juice, and of course Lemon Curd filling; slightly different from the recipe above!