We carved all the pumpkins last night and the house is decorated for Halloween, so now it is on to the baking! I like to keep a supply of homemade cookies for Halloween night in case friends stop by to visit for a few minutes during the trick or treating hours. This is a delicious thumbprint cookie that doesn’t take much time to make and looks festive any time of year. This recipe is based on one my mother made during the Christmas season. She filled her cookies with colored sprinkles, but I prefer to use my homemade jams and jellies. Commercial varieties work well, too.
Jam-filled Thumbprint Cookies
1/2 c. unsalted margarine
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. vanilla granulated sugar or regular sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. almond emulsion or extract
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
2 c. flour, sifted
1/2-1 c. jam or jelly of your choice (I like apricot, blackberry, black raspberry or plum)
In a mixing bowl combine margarine, shortening, and vanilla sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. (It should take 3 minutes.) Add egg yolk and salt, then mix. Add extracts and lemon zest. Mix again. Add sifted flour. Mix to form dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 1/2-inch balls. Make an indentation in the center and fill with 1/2-1 tsp. jam. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will still seem raw to the touch but remove them from the oven anyway and they will continue to cook while they sit on the hot baking sheet for 7 minutes. Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.