I’m a horrible baker. I can’t follow a recipe for the life of me, and I don’t own a timer. Simple instructions like “bake for 7-9 minutes” are virtually impossible for me to complete. I never preheat the oven long enough, and I always decide to change an ingredient part way through and end up ruining the recipe. I don’t know why. I like making soups, stews, roasts and braises where the instructions are more along the lines of “put in as many carrots as you want, and if there are other vegetables that make you have warm fuzzy feelings, put those in too.”
Shockingly enough, I figured it out this time. This is an adaptation of one of my favorite cookies that my mom makes every year. It’s the same chocolate butter cookie dough, but her version tops each cookie with a half of one of those bright red candied cherries. They’re delicious, and I love those cherries, Red #5 be damned. I have about four hundred half-used jars of jam in my fridge, though, so I thought it might be nice to turn them into jam thumbprint cookies.
I’m giving myself an extra pat on the back for making these even though my kitchen aid mixer is fried right now. I felt like a pilgrim actually creaming together butter and sugar using good old-fashioned elbow grease. It was horrible, and I hope I can fix the mixer soon and go back to flipping a switch. The chocolate butter dough is so rich and delicious, and far superior to all of the usual thumbprint cookies floating around out there, if I do say so myself. When I decided to post this recipe, I called up my mom and asked her where she originally found it. She dug out the original clipping from the closet, and I’m proud to say that it was from a Land O’Lakes ad in a Sunset Magazine. This recipe here looks pretty much the same, but has slightly different measurements. Chocolate Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Makes: 20-36 1″ balls, depending how good you are at measuring
Cook Time: 25 min.
- 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 c. raspberry jam or orange marmalade (I wanted to use marmalade but I also wanted to use up the raspberry jam. I think that marmalade would be even better).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (doing it by hand blows, don’t do it unless you have to). Add in the egg yolk and keep mixing on medium speed. Slowly add in the flour and cocoa powder. Mix until everything is combined and the dough comes together. Form into one inch balls and arrange on a greased cookie sheet. Use your thumb to make a small indentation on each of the cookies. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove the tray of cookies from the oven and put a small dollop of jam or marmalade in each of the indentations (not too much or it will melt all over the place and burn). Cook for about 4 more minutes. Be careful not to overcook them; they should be slightly moist and fudgy in the middle, not crunchy and dry like some of mine.
My cookies also look like a kindergartener made them. My mom’s always look all perfect and smooth, and mine are lopsided and cracked. I’m confident that these flaws are because of my lack of skill at baking, and not because there’s any problems with the recipe.
P.S. Making eggs for breakfast when there’s perfectly good cookies sitting right out on the counter would just be . . . wasteful.