There are times in my life when I just feel the urge to bake. It’s almost as if I need to bake. I think I might be slightly addicted. Do they have Baker’s Anonymous? If so, I might need to join. Whenever I am overcome with this crippling urge, I make thumbprints. They are seriously simple and I always have the ingredients. Plus, everyone loves them. This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. However, my cookbook is nowhere near new. My mother bought it in the 1970s. It is my favorite cookbook: not only does it tell me how to make everything from Baked Alaska to Zucchini Parmesan and everything in between, but it is filled with my mother’s handwriting. She put notes next to her favorite recipes and doubled (or quadrupled) cookie recipes. It’s beat up, stained, and the pages are falling out, but I love it. I use it so much that I have the pages memorized. I no longer have to look up jam thumbprints in the index; I just turn to page 145 and there it is. Knowing a cookbook that well just makes me smile.
I have changed this recipe a bit from the original. Jam thumbprints are typically rolled in chopped walnuts, but I am allergic so I use white sparkling sugar. I love the crunch it gives and it makes them look like sparkly Christmas ornaments. I usually make them with seedless blackberry jam, which is amazing. However, we recently bought some pumpkin butter and I couldn’t resist using it. These Pumpkin Butter Thumbprints have a warm, pumpkin spice taste that is irresistible.
Here’s what you need:
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
about 1/4 cup pumpkin butter, or jam
Here’s what you do:
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat until well combined. Gradually add in the flour, mixing well.
Shape the dough into 3/4 inch balls, roll in the sugar sprinkles, and place on a greased cookie sheet. The cookies do not raise much, so you can place them fairly close together. I can usually get about 4 1/2 dozen cookies out of one batch. I like to make them fairly small, but they can be made bigger. You will just have to bake them longer.
Using your finger (I use my pinkie because the cookies are so small) press straight down in the center of each cookie to make an indentation.
Fill each indentation with the pumpkin butter or jam. I use two small spoons to fill them, but you could also place the filling in a plastic storage bag, cut off one corner, and pipe in the filling. Don’t worry if the filling doesn’t settle into the indentations. As they cook the filling will melt and even out.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. Let them cool slightly, then move them to a cooling rack. You may be tempted to try them right away, however the filling at this point is like molten lava. You will have to deny yourself cookie deliciousness for a couple of more minutes.