One evening, K and I got talking about jim-jam cookies – the cream sandwiched biscuits with the most alluring jujube on top? And then we had a hankering for jam cookies. That is it – that is the story behind how these happened in my kitchen. Jam thumbprint cookies that have the crumbliness of a nankhatai (or beNNe (butter) biscuit as we call them in Kannada), rolled in walnutty goodness and a good dollop of strawberry jam.
As we waited quite impatiently for the cookies to cool a bit, I remember how it started getting dark outside and then we took the tray up to the living room and enjoyed them in that fading daylight with all the silence in the world. I remember our hurried steps and followed by that complete silence as these cookies melted in our mouth. It may seem like such a random and eventless recollection but this scene and how it made us feel is etched in my happy memories so much like the thumb print cookies themselves.
- 180g butter, softened at room temperature
- 80-90g caster sugar – go up to 110 g if you like them sweeter.
- 1 large egg/ 2 small eggs with yolks and white separated.
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 220g plain flour
- Jam of any flavour of your choice.
- (Optional) Crushed nuts of your choice to roll your cookie in – I used walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In a bowl, beat the 180 g butter (high speed if you have speed settings) until creamy – I used a hand held mixer with a paddle attachment but you can do this in a stand mixer too.
- Now add sugar (80-90 g), egg yolk(1 large/ 2 small) and vanilla extract (1 tsp) and beat together until it has all combined well.
- Now add the flour (220 g), a little at a time and mix in. You can used a hand mixer/ stand mixer (use a really slow speed setting if you do) but I just used a spatula and gently combined it together – do not overwork the dough. If you overwork the dough by mixing it too much or kneading it a lot, the biscuits become hard. So really, just bringing it all together into one mass should be good.
- At this stage, if your dough is slightly on the wetter side, then do refrigerate it for 30 mins to 1 hour. Mine was alright but I chose to refrigerate it for 30 minutes. I like to refrigerate my cookie dough – they reduce the spread of the cookie. You don’t need to do it for all cookies and you can omit it for this cookie as well. It is just a comforting step for me, I guess.
- Line a baking sheet/tray with parchment paper and slightly grease it with any neutral oil.
- Make small lemon sized balls of the cookie dough with your hand (gently rolling).
- If you are using the nuts, beat the egg white until foamy. Slightly dip these cookie dough balls in the egg white and roll them in the crushed nuts and place them at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. The egg white acts as a binding agent to keep the nuts on. So if you skip the nuts, then just make lemon-sized balls fo the cookie dough and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Now for the fun part – gently press the cookie so that you have a dent in the centre – make it as big or as small as you’d like depending on how much jam you would like in it.
- Fill the dent with a jam of your choice and voila! They are ready to go into your pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the nuts start browning slightly.
Notes for notes:
- You could probably substitute with other flours/ almond meal, I haven’t tried that yet.
- I have tried these with another filling that I will share soon as well – but really just go wild with what you would like.
- Please watch the oven as these bake – they do turn around in a very short time so unless you are really sure of your oven and how it works, I’d recommend watching over them.
- I always like to use the middle rack as that works best for me – but I understand that may not always be the case with different ovens. Just a tip.
- You can drizzle sugar/ glaze these as well – we love them as is 🙂