• 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 slightly beaten egg whites
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 jam or preserves, any flavor

If you have loads of jam in your pantry from last summer’s canning and you don’t know what to do with it all, it’s time to make thumbprint cookies.

I live in Seattle, WA and the most prevalent fruit tree in my neighborhood is purple plums i.e. Italian Prunes. So I collected A LOT of them last August/September and made some into jam. Now as we approach a new season of harvest, I see my many jars of lovely purple jam leftover. So last night I made these cookies. They are a bit labor intensive, as there are 3 steps and you have to let it chill in between. I usually am not one to be bothered with such processes, but these were worth the extra 2 minutes of effort in rolling the balls of dough, etc. :)

Beat butter in a mixer on medium speed. Add sugar. Mix. Scrape sides of bowl. Add egg yolks. Mix. Beat in flour and wheat germ. (The wheat germ was my addition. You can skip it and just add another 1/4 cup of flour instead, if you’d like.)  Cover and chill for one hour. I used wax paper and rolled the dough into a log form, then refrigerated.

After the hour was up, I took it out of the fridge and sliced into rings. Then rolled those into balls for the next step. Put egg whites into a shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in egg whites. Using a small food processor, I chopped my walnuts. It was relatively quiet, took about 1 minute, and was much easier to clean than the huge food processor. Put nuts into another shallow bowl. Roll dough balls in nuts after egg whites.

Place one inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.

Press your thumb or middle finger into the center of the dough ball.

raw thumbprints

Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 minutes, when edges should be slightly browned.

Remove from pan and allow to cool. Just before serving, fill cookies with preserves. I filled mine with some ginger plum jam. They were great. You can also add frosting instead, or cream cheese, or any pureed fruit sauce.

I actually filled all of my cookies last night, then placed them into a square shallow tupperware container with lid. They are on my counter. My point being, these can be made in advance of serving and will last for several days this way, if using highly sweetened jam. Otherwise, you should refrigerate them in lidded containers once filled.

What will you fill your thumbprint cookies with?

filled thumbprints 2

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.