Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Gourmet has a really interesting feature on their website right now, highlighting their favorite cookies from the last 68 years. I love cookies, and I love making cookies. They're so easy and not terribly fussy and can usually be thrown together in a few minutes. Sometimes they need to chill for an hour or two (while you catch up on dishes, eat some food, watch some tv, walk the dog, or read some favorite food blogs) and sometimes not. Some of the cookies featured were not terribly interesting to me, but some called out. This one, in particular, I wanted to eat. I don't think I have a great thumbprint jam cookie recipe yet. This is it. Quick to throw together, short list in ingredients, nothing weird that you might not have on hand. The only problem is that it uses egg yolks, not whole eggs. This is a problem if you don't feel like whipping up some pavlovas, meringues, macarons, or any of the other fabulous desserts that need whites only. 
However! I imagine (and will try it next time) that this can be made with 1 egg, instead of yolks. I will keep you posted. 

Thumbprint Butter Cookies
From Gourmet, recipe can be halved

3 c rice flour mix
3/4 t xanthan gum
1 c sugar
1/2 t salt
3 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
1-2 T milk (or juice)
jam of your choice (I used homemade peach marmalade)

Mix the rice flour, xanthan gum, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Mix in the egg yolks, and if dough is too crumbly add a tiny bit of milk at a time, just until the dough holds together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for a few hours. 
Preheat the oven to 350. Roll the cold dough into balls, press your finger into the middle to make an indent, and fill with jam. Bake 10-12 minutes, cool on cookie sheet. These can hang out, wrapped in plastic, for at least a few days on the counter. 


  1. Anonymous8:48 PM

    I love thumb print cookies! I wonder if this would work well if I substituted the eggs for my "egg replacing ingredients" that I use. I am going to try these, they are a family favorite!

  2. I'm sure they would, as long as your replacement has some liquid in it! I don't know anything about egg replacing, let me know if it works!

  3. Egg whites freeze really well, so you can always just toss them in a container in the freezer until you feel like making those meringues!

  4. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Yeah, egg whites freeze really well, just make a note of how many there are. And then, make those fantastic chewy chocolate cookies that use egg white, no flour and taste like brownies from heaven. Can I have one? Please?

  5. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Any suggestions for making these butter-free as well? My mother is gluten and lactose intolerant, but I'm sure she would love to eat anything resembling thumbprint cookies again. Her grandmother used to make them every Christmas...

  6. butter-free: I don't know how this would affect the flavor--you may have to compensate by adding a flavoring--but Spectra makes a vegetable shortening that is transfat free, not hydrogenated. It bakes well.

    Thanks for posting this recipe!

  7. Holly5:06 PM

    We made these today. They are really good, but I was wondering what rice flour mix you used. We used 1 part tapioca flour, 2 parts potato starch, and 6 parts rice flour. The cookies are really delicate and crumble easily. Really tasty but a bit hard to eat. Could it be the mix?