Thumbprint Cookies

Kids  are all  excited  about   making Christmas    cookies .They like  to  get in the  kitchen ,  help  with the   dough   and  generally have a  good  time .   One  of  the  easiest  cookies  to make  with kids are the Thumbprint   cookies  .   These are  dressed up classic  butter cookies . They  have  so much  fun   shaping    and  filling  the  cookies .   No wonder  they  go  missing   while  still on the   cooling  rack .
Make sure  that the  butter is  at  room  temperature . Cream the   butter  and  sugar  by mixing them  together   vigorously .  With  soft  butter  it  is  not a   tough task  for  kids . Use a  mixer  if  you like . Scrape the   side   often as  you  work  to  ensure  a  smooth  mixture . With  a  wooden spoon / miser on low speed   mix in  the   vanilla  and  the  flour .  Scrape  down  the  sides  as  you mix. Form the   dough  into a ball . At  this   time  you can  wrap it  in plastic  wrap  and  refrigerate/ freeze  for  later  use .
Form the  dough into  lime  sized  balls.  Usually they are   easy to  work   with  at  this  stage . If  it is  very  warm  and  the  dough feels too  soft   and not holding the  shape ,  keep it in the   fridge  for  10 minutes   before  proceeding .
With your  thumb  make a small  impression  on the   dough .    If you have little helpers  involved , they are  going  to  enjoy this  part. Fill  the   thumbprints   with  jam of  your  choice .   About  1/2  tsp  each   These   Refrigerate  these   for  an  hour   two until  firm .  If  you plan  to bake  later  ,  or  like  to make a larger batch for  future  use ,  place  these on a  single layer in a   freezer box  and  freeze  for  2  hours .  Once  frozen   transfer  them  to   to a   freezer bag  and  store  in the   freezer for  later  use .
Preheat  the oven to  350 F (175 C) .  Place  the  balls on a  cookie  sheet  lined   with parchment paper or   baking mat .  at least   2 inches  apart .

Bake  them   8 to 10 minutes .  But  do keep an  eye  on them . These were  the   first batch  that  baked  for  about 10 minutes . See  how  they are  starting  to  spread  out a bit . It  is  not a  bad  thing , and  frankly I like  these  better  that   way .    And  this  is   time  for  them  to   come  out  of  the  oven  . For  these  cookies  we  are  not   going  to  wait  for  the     sides  to  brown .

Cool  in the   pan  for  5  minutes  before  transferring  to a  cooling  rack  to  cool  completely – at least  30 minutes .   These  will be  a little  soft  and  chewy in the  middle .  Definitely  a  kid  friendly  cookie .

Notes :
Add  chocolate  bits  or  candied  peels   instead  of  jam  for  a  different  look .
Instead of  Vanilla ,  use   almond  or  lemon flavoring   for an  added  twist .
I usually double  the   recipe  and  freeze  one batch .   They  freeze  well  up to  3 months ,  though  it  rarely  last  that  long.
Enjoy !!!

Thumbprint Cookies

Makes  about 2  dozen.
Ingredients Butter – 1 C
Sugar – 2/3  C  (preferably fine )
Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour – 2 1/4  C
Salt – 1/8 TspJam – 1/4 C  (your  choice)Method 
Bring  the  butter  to  room  temperature .
Take  the   butter  and  sugar  in a  medium bowl  and  mix well  until  nice  and  creamy . Scrape down the   sides  of  the   bowl .
Add  the   vanilla  and  mix  well .
Mix  in the   flour.  Don’t forget to scrape  the  sides  .
Form into a  flat  disk .   Cover  tightly  with a plastic  and  refrigerate/ freeze if  using  later.
For  the  dough into lime  size  balls .
Use  your  thumb  to  make a small  depression on the  ball .
Fill  about  1/2 tsp  jam in the  depressions .
Refrigerate  the  prepared  dough balls   for  at least  1  hour .
Preheat  the  oven to 350 F (175 C).
Place  the  dough  balls  2 inches apart on a  baking sheet   lined   with parchment paper or  baking  mat .
Bake  for  8 to 10 minutes .
Cool in the  pan for  5 minutes .
Transfer to a  cooling   rack and  cool  completely .
Store in an  airtight container.

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