Thumb Print Cookies

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cream cheese cookiesThis is another popular family recipe from my grandmother!  The story goes that a friend gave her the recipe one Christmas after giving her a batch of the cookies.  Our family bakes these cookies every Christmas mostly because of that tradition.  However, my kids love the cookies so much that we make them throughout year.

These are very rich cookies and are quick and easy to make.  The kids will love putting their thumb prints into the cookies and filling the prints with jelly or jam.

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

Clean hands!  If the kids want to help, have them wash their hands well

1 cup 10x or confectioner’s sugar

2 cups of flour

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese

jam or jelly(I like to use apricot and strawberry jam)

2 sticks of butter, softened

One important thing to note: for this recipe to “work” you need to use butter, not margarine or any other mixed butter product.  I’ve had some success using reduced fat cream cheese, but I recommend using the regular version.

Cream the sugar and the butter together in a mixer until well blended.  Add the cream cheese and mix until well blended.  Gradually add the flour and continue to mix until blended.  Do not over mix the batter!

After mixing the batter, I like to put it in the refrigerator to firm up the dough a little bit.  You can refrigerate the dough for several days if you don’t have time to make the cookies after mixing up the batter.

Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts.  Press your thumb into the center of the dough ball.  Fill the indentation with your choice of jam or jelly.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until the cookies are slightly brown on the bottom.  The top of the cookie will stay very light, so watch the cookies carefully.

After taking the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool on the tray and set a little bit before removing them from the tray or they’ll just crumble.  Store them in a plastic bag or container by themselves.  The cream cheese tends to “absorb” other flavors.

Do not over fill the thumb print, or the jelly will bubble up over the cookie and bake on the cookie sheet.  If this happens, let the jelly cool and then scrape the hardened jelly off the cookie sheet with a knife.  Make sure that the cookies have totally cooled and that the jelly is also cool before eating the cookies.

One last note: I usually double or triple this recipe because there never seems to be enough cookies to satisfy everyone!  I’d recommend doubling the batter if you are going to make this recipe for your family.

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