Cotton-headed ninny-muggins! How is Christmas just over a week away? The holiday season is flying by in a whirl of wrapping paper, AmEx swipes, and holiday parties. Just last night I attended my first real New York City holiday charity bash, complete with an English auction, lots of wine and champagne, and the token drunk old man who was enjoying himself a little too much. In short, it officially felt like New York at Christmastime. And after all that excitement, coming in from the chilly night, all I wanted was to curl up with my honey, and have one of these.
Plus, come on. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t post at least one Christmas cookie recipe before the big day arrives?
All the cookie lovers and bakers I know – namely, the wonderful women in my life – have been baking their butts off for days now, so perhaps this is a bit overdue. Just a few days ago Cara returned home from a bake-cation on Long Island with a huge bag full of chocolate chip, lemon drop, ginger snap, and M&M cookies, and my own mother has been sending me iPhone photos daily of the roll-up cookies and other confections she’s been working on. I myself have given in to an admittedly unhealthy cookie obsession, and my freezer is already stuffed full of big soft ginger cookies.
Oh, and about two dozen of these beauties.
And! And tomorrow I’m headed home, with the boyfriend “willingly” in tow to bake even more holiday treats in my parents’ substantially bigger kitchen. Who knows, a couple of santa’s little helpers might even join us….
Obviously the sugar has gone to my brain, but my point is, there’s still plenty of time to up your Christmas cookie game this holiday, and where better to start than with these sweet, crumbly, jam-filled thumbprint cookies! As a life-long lover of linzer tarts, these were a no-brainer, and it was love at first bite. Honestly, the combination of tart raspberry jam and rich buttery shortbread with just a hint of lemon is completely addicting. Just ask the rapidly disappearing stash in my freezer.
Lemon-Scented Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies - Adapted from Emeril’s Recipe
- 1/2 cup of seedless raspberry jam or jelly
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray with Pam 2 large baking sheets.
In a small bowl, combine the jam and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir until well combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.
Pinch off the dough to form smooth 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured thumb to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture.
Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Enjoy beside the tree, or leave these for Santa with a big glass of milk!