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Jam Thumbprints

Jam Thumbprints

This has got to be one of the most beautiful cookies! With a dollop of glistening jewel toned jam nestled into a tender cookie that’s coated with a flaky, golden crust of coconut, Jam Thumbprints are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Thumbprint cookies come in a wide variety, some with a chocolate “kiss” in the center, some rolled in chopped nuts or some simply dusted with powdered sugar. But this is my favorite. This cookie has just enough sweet from the jam with an added element of fragrance and crunch from the coconut after it toasts in the oven.

One of the most popular cookies I make during the holidays these delicate cookies start with a light, buttery dough. It’s a simple dough made from five basic ingredients – butter, a lot of butter plus sugar, flour a touch of kosher salt and a generous amount of pure vanilla extract.

Then the balls of cookie dough are tossed in an egg wash and rolled in sweet, flaky shreds of coconut.

It’s a recipe that’s relatively easy to pull together and can be made 2 to 3 days in advance then chilled until you’re ready to bake. Just let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes so the dough is easy to roll and shape.

Here are some helpful things I’ve learned through the years of baking these delightful cookies. First there are several steps in making this cookie. Make sure your butter is soft before you start so it whips up light and creamy.

When you’re ready to bake, start by measure out your dough and rolling them into balls. Then get your egg wash and coconut set up and place the lined baking sheets within arm’s reach – then the process moves smoothly and quickly.

I start by weighing cuts of dough about ¾-ounces, which makes a cookie about 3” in diameter. If you want a slightly smaller cookie, measure out dough rounds weighing about ½-ounce. At ¾-ounces, you’ll have about 40 cookies. Though I frequently make my own jams and jellies, for this cookie I use Bonne Maman preserves. They are a soft preserve, perfect for this recipe. For the coconut, I use a sweetened flaked coconut. And always use a high quality, pure vanilla extract such as Nielsen-Massey– no imitation flavoring please! All can be found in most fine food markets.

A perfect cookie for the holidays or anytime you want something a little extra special!

Jam Thumbprints

 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter – ¾ pound – at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 extra-large egg

1 tablespoon water

1 bag of sweetened flaked coconut, 14-ounces

1 jar of your favorite preserves or a combination – I use apricot and raspberry

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream on medium speed. Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes depending on the softness of your butter. Add the sugar and continue beating on medium speed until well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in the vanilla extract then blend into the butter and sugar on medium speed.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour and kosher salt.

Add about 1 cup of the flour at a time, stirring into the butter and sugar on low speed, beating about 20 to 30 seconds after each addition.

Once all the flour has been added blend just until the flour is mixed in and the dough comes together. Don’t over mix or the cookies will not be tender.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper that is very lightly dusted with flour. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each into a flattened round – this makes it easier to handle. Wrap each round of cookie dough in a sheet of parchment then drop into a storage bag and chill for at least 30 minutes. At this point you can keep it chilled for several days.

When you’re ready to bake let the dough rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Measure out pieces of dough, about ¾-ounces each (or for smaller cookies, ½-ounces each). Roll them gently into round balls.

Place the egg and the water in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Place the coconut in a separate bowl.

Toss each dough ball in the egg wash, coating all sides. Then roll the cookie dough in the coconut, pressing gently so that the coconut sticks. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with either a Silpat or with parchment paper, leaving about 2” between cookies. Using the back of a melon baller or your thumb, gently press an indentation into each cookie. If the cookies crack when pressed just gently push the dough back together.

Top with about a teaspoon of jam in each.

Bake the cookies at 350-degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden, taking care to not let the coconut get too dark. Check at 20 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven if needed. Cool on the pans for about five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container.

Makes about 40 cookies.

Jam Thumbprints, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

December 13, 2019
: Makes about 40 cookies.

This has got to be one of the most beautiful cookies! With a dollop of glistening jewel-toned jam nestled into a tender cookie that’s coated with a flaky, golden crust of coconut. Jam Thumbprints are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter – ¾ pound - at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 bag of sweetened flaked coconut, 14-ounces
  • 1 jar of your favorite preserves or a combination – I use apricot and raspberry
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream on medium speed. Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes depending on the softness of your butter.
  • Step 2 Add the sugar and continue beating on medium speed until well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Step 3 Pour in the vanilla extract then blend into the butter and sugar on medium speed.
  • Step 4 In a small bowl whisk together the flour and kosher salt.
  • Step 5 Add about 1 cup of the flour at a time, stirring into the butter and sugar on low speed, beating about 20 to 30 seconds after each addition. Once all the flour has been added blend just until the flour is mixed in and the dough comes together. Don’t over mix or the cookies will not be tender.
  • Step 6 Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper that is very lightly dusted with flour. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape each into a flattened round – this makes it easier to handle. Wrap each round of cookie dough in a sheet of parchment then drop into a storage bag and chill for at least 30 minutes. At this point you can keep it chilled for several days.
  • Step 7 When you’re ready to bake let the dough rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Measure out pieces of dough, about ¾-ounces each (or for smaller cookies, ½-ounces each). Roll them gently into round balls.
  • Step 8 Place the egg and the water in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Place the coconut in a separate bowl.
  • Step 9 Toss each dough ball in the egg wash, coating all sides. Then roll the cookie dough in the coconut, pressing gently so that the coconut sticks.
  • Step 10 Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with either a Silpat or with parchment paper, leaving about 2” between cookies.
  • Step 11 Using the back of a melon baller or your thumb, gently press an indentation into each cookie. If the cookies crack when pressed just gently push the dough back together. Top with about a teaspoon of jam in each.
  • Step 12 Bake the cookies at 350-degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden, taking care to not let the coconut get too dark. Check at 20 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven if needed.
  • Step 13 Cool on the pans for about five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container.

 



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