Thursday, November 5, 2009

MrMartha's AWESOME Raspberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

This is one of MrMartha's most popular holiday cookies....friends wait all year to savor these incredible morsels. The dough recipe is only 4 ingredients, and while they take a little time to shape and finish, they are well worth the effort.

The keys to success:
** USE ONLY real butter -- these cookies are so simple, that using good real butter is critical to making the best cookie.
** Use strained or seedless raspberry jam -- you don't want a bunch of seeds ruining the look of the finished cookie.
** If the first batch of cookies seems to spread too much during baking, pop the cookies into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes, on their baking sheets, before they go into the oven -- and lower your oven temperature 25 degrees.
** The recipe doubles easily (or even triples if you have a heavy duty mixer with large bowl) -- so make lots!
** MrMartha likes these to have a strong almond flavor, so usually doubles the almond extract amount of the original recipe.

Read More for the easy Recipe, additional photos, and detailed preparation and baking directions.


2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Almond Extract (or more to taste)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Raspberry Jam for filling, and melted White Chocolate or simple glaze for topping.

Cream together Sugar and Butter with the Almond Extract, at medium speed, till light and fluffy - a couple of minutes.
Stir in flour with mixer on low speed, until well combined, with uniform texture -- do not overmix.

To prepare in advance for baking later:
On a waxed paper lined baking sheet, pat the dough out until it is uniform thickness of approximately 3/4".
Use a bench scraper, spatula edge, or knife to score the dough into 3/4" squares, so that you end up with uniform cubes of dough.
Place the whole sheet into the freezer until solidly frozen. Transfer the dough cubes to ziplock bags, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To complete the cookies:
Thaw the frozen dough until it softens and is pliable.
Take each cube of dough and roll between palms into a ball shape.
Arrange the balls on an ungreased baking sheet with approx 2" spacing between the balls of dough.
Use your thumb, index finger, or some sort of blunt, round end tool, to make an indentation in the top of each cookie.

Place approx 1/2 cup of Raspberry jam into a small ziplock bag, and seal. Cut a small corner off the bag, and squeeze a small dollop of jam into the imprint of each cookie. It doesn't take much -- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per cookie. If you have any concerns about how much jam to use, bake a couple of test cookies with varied amounts of jam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should barely color with just a tinge of golden tone, they should not have much color, and they should not be overbaked.

Allow to cool slightly on the sheet, and then transfer to waxed paper or wire racks to cool.

Melt 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips, slowly (30 second increments in the microwave), stirring between each heating until just smooth. Place the melted chocolate in another ziplock bag, cut off a tiny corner, and add a squiggle of the white chocolate to the top of each cookie.
If you prefer, a simple powdered sugar glaze can be drizzled on instead.

Store the cookies in airtight containers, stacked in single layers with waxed paper in between each layer. These will keep perfectly and taste just baked for about 10 days. They are certainly still good after a couple weeks...if there are any left!!