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.
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.
We 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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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)
- In a medium size bowl, cream butter or margarine with powdered sugar until well blended.
- Stir in dry ingredients, half at a time. blending well to make a soft dough; stir in pecans and vanilla.
- Chill several hours, overnight, or until firm enough to handle.
- Roll dough, a teaspoon at a time, into marble size balls between palms of hands; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Make a hollow in center of each with thumb; fill with about ½ tsp jam or jelly.
- Bake in slow oven (300°) 20 minutes, or until delicately golden. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. Makes 4 dozen cookies.