One caveat of all this canning I’ve been doing is the inevitable excess: the partially-filled and improperly-sealed jars that gather on the top shelf of the fridge, along with that solitary jar of last year’s strawberry preserves that must be used before this year’s can be touched. Once opened, they don’t last indefinitely, and considering that we are not big jam eaters (go figure), I knew I had to find a creative way to use them.
Enter: thumbprint cookies.
The base cookie recipe actually comes from our book, where they are filled them with a luscious lemon poppy seed curd. But the cookie is all sorts of versatile, and could be filled with just about anything: from jam to curd to caramel or nutella.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (or so) assorted jam
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated and dough comes together in a ball.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly with your thumb or the back of a small spoon, leaving an indentation in the center.
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are just barely golden. Remove baking sheet from oven. If indentations look shallow, further define them with the back of a spoon and then fill each with approximately 1/2 teaspoon jam. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until jam melts slightly and edges of cookies are lightly golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.