Jasper’s Other Most Favourite Cookie

I’ve already established that my 7 year old loves snickerdoodles. As much as he loves them, he loves these cookies even more. They are jam thumbprints.

Blackberry Thumbprints

In this case filled with homemade blackberry jam. They are also good with strawberry, apricot, orange marmalade, or the classic raspberry. I’ve filled them with lemon curd, with Nutella, and with chocolate ganache. They are all delicious.

You can leave the cookies plain, as I did today, or roll the balls of dough in chopped nuts. Almonds and hazelnuts work particularly well. You can even roll them in coconut if you want.

My favourite recipe for them comes from Carole Walter, in her book Great Cookies. Here is my adaptation of it.

Jam Thumbprints

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds, toasted
  • 8 oz. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • jam
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks.
  4. Stir in the flour and ground almonds until just blended.
  5. Roll the dough into ping pong sized balls. place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Press a hole into the center of each ball with your thumb.
  7. Bake cookies for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and press the centers down with your thumb again.
  9. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 tsp. jam and return the cookies to the oven.
  10. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Rugelach, Which Isn’t Technically a Christmas Cookie

Today’s cookie is rugelach, in honour of the Jewish side of my family. I will pretend this recipe is for Chanukah, even though in reality I make it every December, whether it is currently Chanukah or not.Apricot Rugelach

Rugelach are delicious, no matter what holiday you celebrate. And they are versatile. They are little packets of dough you can fill with pretty much anything you like. My favourite is apricot jam. A cinnamon/sugar/raisin/walnut mixture is traditional. This year I filled some with pistachio paste, and some with Nutella. I’ve even been known to make them savoury, with black olive tapenade.

My favourite recipe uses a cream cheese dough, which makes a lovely, tender, cookie. How you handle the dough is important here, though. Do not over mix it once you add the flour, or they will be tough.


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Jam, Nutella, or whatever else you want to fill them with
  1. Beat the cream cheese with the butter until well blended.
  2. Beat in the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the flour until just blended.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and wrap each piece in plastic.
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Remove dough from the ridge, and roll each piece into a circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Spread the filling of your choice over the dough, right to the edges.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges, like you were cutting a pizza.
  10. Roll each wedge up into a little crescent shape. Start at the thick end and roll towards the point.
  11. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.