A cherished memory of mine from childhood was when my mom would make a variety of cookies and treats for our friends and family around the holidays. It was not like family baking time or anything like that. But, being a quiet, observant child, I would watch her make a grocery list, gather the ingredients and dig out all the necessities that weren't needed the rest of the year. There were different chocolates and nuts, candy making molds, baking dishes and of course the beautiful holiday tins that she would package the handmade gifts in. I could help -or not- it wasn't about her giving me a baking lesson as much as it was about her remembering the loved ones in her life and being thankful for them. I suppose it was more a life lesson instead:)
One of my very favorite things she would make were thumbprint cookies. If I was lucky I would catch her while she rolled the little balls of dough because then I could help make the thumbprints in each one. These jam filled shortbread cookies are so simple, they really make the perfect homemade treat for a neighbor or guest.
I begin by beating butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.
Scrape the sides down and add in the vanilla.
Finally, with the mixer on low add in the salt and flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
If your butter is too soft when you begin you might want to chill the dough for 15 minutes- just so they roll easier. Mine is just right. Roll about a tablespoon, or a little less, into a ball and place on a lined cookie sheet.
With the back of a teaspoon, or your thumb, press down in the middle to create a cup. Not too far down though or the cookies will not hold the jam.
Place some of your favorite jam in each little cup. I have raspberry today, mmm!
Bake just until the bottoms start to turn golden brown and the top is set, 15-20 minutes.
When you take them out of the oven immediately place them onto a cool flat surface to cool completely.
Once cooled dust with more sifted powdered sugar. The boys love watching me do this part, they triy to catch the little bits of falling powdered sugar:)
Thank you, mom, for teaching me many valuable lessons in life, even if you didn't know you were doing it! Those are the best kind:)
1 c butter, room temp
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
2 c ap flour
1/4 t salt
your favorite jam for filling
extra powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and powdered sugar. Scrape down sides and add vanilla, mix to combine. With mixer on low add in salt and flour- 1/2 cup at a time til thoroughly mixed.
Roll dough into 1" size balls and place on a lined cookie sheet. Using a teaspoon or your thumb press down to create cups in each ball. Place about 1/2 t jam in each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, til bottom is lightly browned and tops are set. Immediately place on a cool flat surface to cool.
When completely cooled dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!