Fretting over which dish to bring to that last-minute party, or which dessert to share with your new neighbors, or how to impress your mother-in-law? Look no further than raspberry thumbprint cookies. These buttery circles burst with rich almond flavor, balanced with the sweet zing of raspberries. They elicit gasps and endless streams of praise from those who eat them. They draw crowds at parties. They are easy and fun to make, and are a great introduction to cookie-making for children or non-bakers. They are the ultimate cookie.
Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup butter (Leave out for about 1 hour, not much more, to soften.)
½ tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ tsp. almond extract
2 to 3 tsp. water
*This recipe only makes about 2 dozen cookies so I always make a double batch.
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Cream butter. Add sugar and cream the mixture till smooth. Stir in almond extract. Stir in flour gradually till thoroughly mixed.
3. Roll slightly rounded soup spoons of dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet covered with bakers’ parchment paper. (A soup spoon is about 1 ½ Tbsp. of dough per cookie.)
4. Press your thumb straight down into each ball, taking care that the sides and bottom of the ball don’t get too thin. If the sides of the dough ball crack, press them together so the jam won’t spill out.
5. Fill each thumb hole with raspberry jam just level or very slightly above the edge of the cookie.
6. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes on the middle rack of your oven. You can fit a dozen cookies on a cookie sheet because they don’t spread much. When the jam just starts to bubble, the cookies are done. They will be very slightly brown around the edges.
7. Let cookies stand a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet, then put them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Mix glaze using only enough water to make a thin, but not runny, drizzle. Don’t let the glaze stand more than an hour or it will form a crust and won’t be smooth.
9. When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle the glaze in a zig-zag pattern over the cookies.
10. Eat with gusto!