Thumbprint cookies, in their endless varieties, are a staple during the holidays. The sky’s the limit on creativity when it comes to thumbprints, which can be assembled with chopped nuts, shredded coconut, even crushed candies, but sometimes, simple is better. As uncomplicated as it gets, this cookie features cream cheese and strawberry jam. It’s a classic combination that comes together in less than an hour and is a hit with everyone, adults and children alike.
(Makes five dozen cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, mix butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add sugar and mix. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt, scraping down sides of bowl in between mixing. Mix until dough comes together easily when picking up a small handful.
Roll dough into small balls (about ¾-inch in diameter) and place on cookie sheet. For small, consistent cookies, use a small cookie scoop and then roll into balls, making sure the dough is perfectly smooth when rolled.
Press fingerprint into center of each ball and fill with 1/4 teaspoon jam.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are just barely start to color. Allow to sit for at least half hour before serving.