When I was a kid, my mother used to have a handful of recipes she’d fall back on around the holidays to serve guests or bring with us when we attended family Christmas parties. One of those recipes were thumbprint cookies. My mom would typically make a couple dozen of them at a time and then proceed to fill in the center indentation with melted chocolate or lemon custard. They were always popular and were always one of the first snacks/desserts to disappear once our actual dinner was finished.
And now, years later- I’ve found an updated version of the recipe that incorporates two popular desserts into one bite-sized treat: sugar cookies and cheesecake. With 30 minutes of prep/cook time total- this recipe makes 24 cookies in all- which means you’ll have plenty of them to feed everybody and not have to worry about spending all day in your kitchen!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 crackers)
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup jam
READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- MAKE THE COOKIES: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix to combine, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- In a medium bowl, stir the flour with the graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt to combine. Add to the mixer and mix just until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball; repeat with the remaining dough. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each one slightly, then use your thumb to make a deepimpression in the center of each cookie.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese with the sugar, egg white and vanilla extract to combine.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each cookie. Top each cookie with 1 teaspoon jam and then use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to swirl the jam into the cream cheese filling.
- Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Not only were these cookies really pretty when they were done, but they tasted incredible, too- and definitely took me back to my childhood while I was eating them. I’m really looking forward to surprising my mother with a batch of these for her birthday this coming Christmas Eve. I know she’ll appreciate the tradition being passed down!
Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, everyone!
– Ashley –