Every year my Mum asks what kind of cookies my Pappo and I would like us to make during the annual Christmas baking extravaganza. I always request the candy cane sugar cookies, while my Pappo wants thumbprint jam cookies, preferably in several flavors. So here’s another family favorite just in time for Christmas cookie baking!
Thumbprint Jam Cookies
Yields about 30 cookies
For the cookies:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (113 grams) butter, at room temperature
1 (200 gram) package light cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. fresh orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
For the topping:
Assorted jams (I like to use raspberry and orange marmalade)
1 bar (100 grams) white chocolate
2 tsp. vegetable oil
Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius). In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and mix until everything is well incorporated. Next add the orange zest, vanilla extract, baking powder, and egg. Again mix well, making sure there are no lumps. Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing between each new addition, until all the flour has been added and the dough is no longer sticky. At this point, the dough should be moist enough to form a ball, but not so moist as to be sticky. Roll the dough into one inch balls, and using your thumb, press and indent into the center of each cookie. Depending on how much jam you want to add, you can make the indents larger or smaller (I typically tended to err on the side of more jam). Spoon the jam into the indents, being careful not to over-fill (otherwise it’ll melt into a gooey mess over the sides of the cookies), and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the bottoms are a golden brown.
The cookies do not need to sit on the baking sheet after they have baked, but can instead be immediately moved to a cooling rack. Melt the white chocolate, and add a few teaspoons of oil to thin it. I highly recommend covering whatever surface the cookies are on with a large amount of paper towels to catch the white chocolate. I forgot one year and was scraping white chocolate off my counters for days! Using a large spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate harden before moving or stacking the cookies.
Once the chocolate has hardened, these can easily be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week, or longer in the freezer.