Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Apricot Thumbprints

Apricot Thumbprints 1

DAY 4: Apricot Thumbprints

Thumbprint cookies of all varieties are always favorites around here. These apricot thumbprints are a light almond flavored shortbread cookie filled with sweet apricot jam and drizzled with an almond glaze.

To avoid cracks in your baked cookies, be sure to not pack the flour when measuring, and keep the dough covered while shaping cookies to keep the dough from drying out. (And don’t overbake. Cookies should be just barely starting to brown on the bottoms.)

For a fuller jam center, I like to add a little extra jam to the centers after baking.

Apricot Thumbprints 2

RECIPE:

Apricot Thumbprints

Apricot Thumbprints 1

Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
About ½ – ¾ cup apricot jam

Glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp milk
½ tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in almond extract. Gradually beat in flour and salt.

Using a small cookie scoop (2 tsp capacity), place level scoops on baking sheets, about 2” apart (I can get 20 cookies on a baking sheet). Roll scoops of dough into balls; return to baking sheet. Using the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill each indentation with about ¼ teaspoon jam.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until baked through, but still pale. Don’t overbake. Remove baking sheet from oven and let sit for one minute. If desired, add a small amount of additional jam to the centers of the cookies. Cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, 2 tsp milk, and almond extract in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk until smooth, adding additional milk if necessary. Place glaze in a Ziploc bag; poke hole in one corner with a toothpick or skewer. Drizzle glaze over the cooled cookies.

Makes about 4 dozen small cookies

NOTES:
· For easier filling, heat jam for 20 seconds in the microwave before adding to centers of cookies.
· Keep the dough covered when you are not working with it, or it will dry out and your cookies will have more cracks.

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