Thumbprint cookies are buttery melt-in-your-mouth cookies filled in the center with jam.
The name “thumbprint” comes from the fact that you fill the cookies in an indentation made in the cookie dough with your thumb, with jam.
I first baked these light jam cookies a long time ago, when my boys were small. I love this version, as it is eggless and I prefer to make this when I either run out of eggs or I need to share cookies with someone who does not consume any eggs.
When I baked these “Eggless Jam-filled Thumbprint Cookies” first, access to recipes was only through newspapers or cookbooks. My baking passion led me to purchase lots of cookbooks which I cherish even today (in the age of internet and cooking shows).
The only change from my original recipe is I have coated the cookie with sugar to give that extra sugary crunch. You can avoid this step if you are not fond of more sugar in your cookie.
Eggless Jam-filled Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 25 cookies
Unsalted butter : ½ cup (at room temperature)
Fine granulated sugar : 1/3 cup plus extra for coating
Vanilla essence or extract: 1 tsp
All purpose flour or maida : 1 cup
Salt : ¼ tsp
Jam or Preserves (assorted): ¼ cup (I used strawberry and apricot)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Centigrade.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Mix the flour and salt with a whisk or spoon.
In a mixing bowl, add the butter and with an electric mixer on medium high, beat the butter till soft. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat again, till fluffy and creamy.
Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low till just mixed. Add the rest of the flour and mix again. Do not over mix. You can use a spatula to mix in the flour till just combined.
Place some granulated sugar in a small bowl.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll each ball of dough in the sugar to coat lightly and place on the baking sheet.
Make small indentation in the center of each dough ball with your thumb.
Fill it with about ¼ teaspoon of jam or preserve. I used the flat end of a ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon to make the indentation.
Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes till the edge starts to get a light brown color.
Let stand for about a minute on the sheet and then transfer to a wired cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper or foil to avoid the cookies from sticking together.
If you do not have parchment paper, you can use an ungreased cookie sheet or line with foil. The butter in the dough will prevent the cookie from sticking to the pan.
Feel free to play around with different flavors of jams.
You may refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes to make it easy to work with it as the dough tends to soften quickly.