It’s on! The cookie swaps and bake sales are in full swing. If you haven’t heard by now, it’s time to start baking for the holidays.
I am not a baker. I repeat, I am not a baker. I admire the people who can make a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie or a moist banana bread. And I love when my neighbor comes over with some freshly baked loaf of yumminess. (Hint, hint… hope she is reading this!) My own attempts in the baking department are hit or miss. Sometimes we mix everything right and sometimes the formula is off. But that being said a bad batch of cookies is never completely bad. Anything with so much sugar and butter has some redeeming qualities.
Lately my kids are more interested in shooting hockey pucks than cooking with me so it’s been a challenge getting them in the kitchen. But there are still a few things they love to do and mixing cookie batter is one of them. Although I admit I usually have to bribe them with chocolate chips to pull them away from the net in our basement.
For our holiday baking all three boys wanted to try thumbprint cookies. Being able to stick their fingers into cookie dough really sold them. And they very enthusiastically pressed their fingers all over these cookies. Our baking sheets had to be divided by mine, aka the clean (and neat) side, and theirs, aka the not so clean side.
Our cookies won’t be winning any ribbons but they were good enough for us!
All Fingersprint Cookies (recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup blanched almonds
½ cup jam, any flavor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat butter and ½ cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix again for about a minute. In a separate bowl whisk together the salt and flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.
In a small food processor pulse the remaining sugar and blanched almonds. Or roughly chop the almonds by hands for a chunkier texture. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white.
Form dough into small balls, about 1”. Dip the balls into the egg white and then in almond sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and make a indentation in the center with your finger.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and repress centers again, as the cookies might have changed shape. Fill the center of each with jam. Bake for additional 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack for cooling.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 7): “Okay, not as good as Oreos”
Liam (age 5): “I can’t remember which thumb is mine”
Dylan (age 5): “MMMMMM”
Full disclosure: I forgot to separate the egg! But as I said, anything with all that butter and sugar can’t go that wrong. So for our recipe we used 1 ½ eggs and they came out pretty tasty.