Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

“I’m really feeling shortbread.”

“What?” I glanced up at Allan, standing absent mindedly in front of the pantry.

“I’m really feeling shortbread. Like either buying some or making some or something.”

“I can make you shortbread.” I said, turning my head back to my laptop and pulling open the ever glorious Pinterest. “What kind do you want?”

“Those.” Allan gestured to the thumbprint cookie recipe with a perfect photo and even more perfect glaze crisscrossed over the cookies.

I mentally sighed. Did I want to spend an abhorrent amount of time on complex cookies that would get devoured in an afternoon? No. No, I did not. But Allan needed shortbread. So I strapped on my apron and got to baking.

First, let me kill any pre-conceived notions you may have (and that I also had) about thumbprint cookies. These are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. They’re just about as easy as chocolate chip, and taste so good, you’ll never buy store-bought again. I thought they’d be more complicated since there’s the whole “fill-the-cookie-with-jam” part. But nope! Don’t be intimidated by them just because they look fancy. Instead, make them, and dazzle your fiends with your mad baking skills.

Second, Allan is obsessed with these cookies. He loves thumbprint, and since you can add any jam filling you’d like, we’ve made them with strawberry, raspberry, and now blackberry. These cookies have a strong almond flavor, which personally I’m a huge fan of. If you don’t like as strong of a almond flavor, or don’t like almond at all, you can always substitute out the almond for vanilla.

I originally found the recipe over on Cooking Classy, but have since modified it a tad for an even better recipe. Here it is below…

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup jam filling (baker’s preference, although I use raspberry or blackberry)

Almond Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 – 4 tsp water

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined. They should change to a lighter color slightly as they become incorporated.
  3. Mix in almond extract then add in flour and salt until mixture comes together.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
  5. Make a small indentation with thumb or round measuring teaspoon in each cookie. Fill each with 1/2 to 1 tsp jam.
  6. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 – 18 minutes.
  7. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. For the glaze: Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. 
  9. Spoon mixture over cooled cookies, or pour into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get to baking! I promise you’ll love these cookies, and if you don’ then at this point I really don’t know what to say other than “You’re missing out.” So far blackberry has been our favorite jam filling, but I think these would also be great with fig or apricot. If you try out something else, let me know!

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