Baking Memories: A Cookie Party and A Recipe for Jam Thumbprints

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After the tragic happenings at Sandy Hook last Friday, I could only hope for the comfort of friends and family, a bowl of soup, and some cookies. And that was exactly the plan for last weekend: a cookie party to celebrate the memory of a dear friend’s mom whose legacy has many facets. But at this time of year, it is her prolific cookie baking that we think of first.

cookie party

In my 2010 post about her, I explained the desperate and creative measures we used to obtain a spot on her coveted cookie list. Now, though, the responsibility for carrying on that tradition lies with each of us – the lucky recipients –  to bake her cookies and share them with each other so we can still enjoy a treasured box of holiday gems.

cookie partyWe succeeded in grand fashion but it took at least eight bakers to deliver what this one woman used to do alone —  bake dozens and dozens of more than 16 types of cookies, while working full time and taking care of her family. My respect for her continues to grow.cookie party

One of my personal favorites from her collection was always her jam thumbprints – a simple but satisfying cookie that my kids reach for quickly as well. You’ll find the simple, flexible recipe below.

cookie party

Vary the nuts you use or the jam you fill them with and you can create an array of tasty and colorful baked goodies.

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, and yummy 2013.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Jam Thumbprints
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
 
A simple crowd pleaser that you can make your own by spicing up the dough or changing up the jam.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (could probably sub others here)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • ½ cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (could use other nuts as well)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Jams and jellies (any flavor) - you will need about ½ cup
Instructions
  1. Place flour on a piece of parchment paper with cinnamon and allspice and combine together (you can also do this in a small bowl - the parchment just makes it easy to pour into the other ingredients)
  2. In a medium size bowl, cream butter or margarine with powdered sugar until well blended.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients, half at a time. blending well to make a soft dough; stir in pecans and vanilla.
  4. Chill several hours, overnight, or until firm enough to handle.
  5. Roll dough, a teaspoon at a time, into marble size balls between palms of hands; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Make a hollow in center of each with thumb; fill with about ½ tsp jam or jelly.
  7. Bake in slow oven (300°) 20 minutes, or until delicately golden. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

 

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14 Responses to Baking Memories: A Cookie Party and A Recipe for Jam Thumbprints

  1. Hope Ratner December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I was one of the proud bakers. It was an amazing evening filled with good spirit(s) and wonderful conversation about a woman who was a role model for us all!

    • Beth December 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Hope you came down off that sugar high :-). Yes it was a lovely evening and I will look forward to it again next year. Maybe I’ll even find the time to make more than one type of cookie :-), channeling our role model the wonder baker.

  2. Betsy Torop December 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Wish I could have been there!

    • Beth December 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      We wish you could have been there too! Put it on your travel wish list for next year :-)

  3. Lizthechef December 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Comforting cookies indeed – we can all use some these days. Happy Holidays!

    • Beth December 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Thanks Liz. Glad you dropped by – stay healthy and warm over the holidays ok?!

  4. sandy corman December 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    All the cookies look good. Heres wishing only happy and healthy occasions next year filled with lots of those cookies.

    • Beth December 21, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      I’ll second that!

  5. Dorit December 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I love those cookies. Count me in next time.

    • Beth December 21, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      You bet – they are full of good memories, aren’t they?

  6. Hannah December 21, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Cookies evoke such happiness and comfort. It’s wonderful you are remembering your friend’s mom in this way – gathering together, baking and sharing. We could all use some cookies, and jam thumbprints are certainly one of my favorites. I look forward to baking a batch! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy 2013!

    • Beth December 28, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      You too Hannah! I hope 2013 finds us in a real kitchen together, not just a virtual one!

  7. Carol Sacks December 28, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    How did I miss this sweet post? A lovely tribute and a delicious recipe. Happy New Year, Beth!

    • Beth December 28, 2012 at 8:03 am #

      Thanks Carol – yes without your comment, something was missing. :-) I appreciate your blog, your support, your fascinating tweets, and your friendship – looking forward to more of it all in 2013!

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