Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thumb-Press Cookies

Sometimes...you just gotta bake cookies. On good days, not-so-good days, rainy days or "I just want to get away from the internet for awhile" days. Cookies are always a good option.

These little darlings take me right back to my grandmother's kitchen. I remember so many times, especially during the holidays, she'd clear everything off the kitchen table and we'd make a big, beautiful mess. I remember swirls of flour, sprinkles of sugar, rolling pins, the old flour sifter and lots of laughs.

But when we baked cookies, we didn't just make one kind. Nope, we had about 3-4 different kinds of cookies going at once. We shuffled cookie sheets in and out of the oven and I'd very carefully remove them to wire racks to cool...eating a couple along the way. Oohhh, she was so patient with me.

This is the time of year I find myself re-visiting so many sweet memories from holidays past. Grandma's flour sifter, her rolling pin and her cast-iron skillet are among the many treasures that now live in MY kitchen and I still feel her love and gentleness every time I use them.

The recipe for these old-fashioned favorites is simple and uncomplicated, but it's the tradition and fond memories that make it so special.
Thumb-Press Cookies
1 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Filling (suggestions):
Seedless Jam
Chocolate frosting
Chopped nuts (for outer edges)
Colorful sprinkles (for outer edges)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined and fluffy. Add vanilla extract.

Add flour a little at a time. Mix on medium until fully combined and dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl.

Use a cookie dough scoop to form balls. Place them on silicone-lined baking sheets.

Use your thumb (or spoon) to gently press the centers of each. If filling with jam, carefully spoon seedless jam into the centers of each cookie. (For the chocolate-filled version, I baked them first, allowed them to cool completely, then piped in chocolate frosting).

Bake for 12-15 minutes (just enough to set up. Don't overbake).

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