These easy cookies—a holiday favorite in many households—are a favorite with kids, who will have fun pressing their thumb into the dough to create the indentations. Best of all, this recipe is nearly infinitely adaptable. Use your favorite flavor of jam or a combination of flavors, or omit the jam and fill each indentation with a dried apricot half or a chocolate kiss, if you like.
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) raspberry, blackberry or apricot jam, or as needed
Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until well combined and the mixture turns a shade paler, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the orange zest and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until blended. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add half of the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Add the remaining flour and beat until blended.
Scoop up a rounded tablespoonful of the dough and roll between your palms into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Using your thumb, press an indentation about 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep in the center of each cookie. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 tsp. of the jam.
Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Repeat to cook the remaining cookies. Makes about 32 cookies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Sweet Treats, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2006)