Thumbprint Cookies with Jam

Everyone sing along:  On the Fifth Day of Cookies, my oven gave to me….another batch of yucky looking discs.

Wait.  I'm not blaming this one on my oven.  In fact, I'll never blame anything on it. 

They taste great, as long as you don't mind biting into something that looks like a fried egg with a pink center.  Light, slightly crisp at the edges, and oh so buttery.  And then there's that little taste of jam.  Nice.

But I'm not loving the recipe:  Aunt Sis's Strawberry Tart Cookies, Gourmet's favorite from 1993.  Sorry Aunt Sis.  Honestly.

Ugly little cookies...

Aunt Sis's Strawberry Tart Cookies
as printed in Gourmet

  • 3
    all-purpose flour
  • 1
  • 1/2
  • 3
    sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2
    large egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • 1
    strained strawberry jam
  • In
    a large bowl whisk together the flour, the sugar, and the salt, add the
    butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in
    the egg yolks, blend the mixture until it forms a dough, and chill the
    dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat
    the oven to 350° F. Let the dough soften slightly, roll level teaspoons
    of it into balls, and arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on lightly
    greased baking sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the
    center of each ball, being careful not to crack the dough around the
    edges. (If the dough cracks, reroll it and try again.) Fill each
    indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon of the jam and bake the cookies in
    batches in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the
    edges are pale golden. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 2
    minutes, transfer them to racks, and let them cool completely. The cookies may be made 1 month in advance and kept frozen in airtight containers. Makes about 100 cookies.

Nice little dough balls filled with jam...

My Usual Notes:

  • I chilled the dough over night and rolled it into very small balls — about the size of 1-1/2 tsp. in circumference.  Because the dough was well chilled, I used the end of a wooden spoon to make the jam indention.  Only a tiny bit of jam filled each space.
  • I put the dough balls back in the fridge for an hour to harden them up again before baking them just to be on the safe side.
  • The first batch, I baked for 10 of the 12 minutes.  By that time, the dough was quite flattened and just barely beginning to turn golden.  The jam, was very melted in most, running from the centers like lava from a volcano.  Oh.  Joy. 
  • The second batch I used my knuckle to make the indentation, but the dough really wanted to crack.  Plus, the indention wasn't very deep.
  • I reduced the cooking time to 8 minutes, and the cookies not only still spread, but weren't done in the center and the jelly still ran.
  • There is no way this recipe makes even close to 100 cookies.  One batch makes a little more than half that amount or 3-1/2 big baking sheets.
  • Cookies couldn't be more simple to make than these, so I'm seriously wondering what is going on.  It HAS to be the cheap butter since the recipe's not an old one, and doesn't take a lot of skill.

...flatten out like fried eggs but aren't supposed to.

Don't forget to visit the rest of our cookie crew testing Gourmet's favorite cookies:  Andrea of Andrea's Recipes, Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Sandy of At the Baker's Bench, Courtney of Coco Cooks, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, and Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants.  I know they've got something delicious just waiting for you!  And they most likely won't be complaining about it.

2nd Batch: Altered cooking time doesn't change much.

Fried Egg, anyone?  Anyone?