I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (or Chanukkah or currently enjoying Kwanzaa). Just because the holidays are quickly coming to an end, does not mean I can't take advantage of the last few remaining days. You know, I used to be a Grinch when it came to the holidays. I thought it was a waste of time and money, that everyone was just pretending to be nice and cheerful from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Boy was I wrong! The holidays are wonderful because you get to spoil your friends and family for no reason other than it's the thing to do.
Instead of giving gifts to everyone, I share love with baked goods. As I'm sure K-boy's coworkers can attest, I overload people with cookies until they K.O. from a sugar coma. My absolute favorites are Hallongrotta a.k.a. thumbprint cookies. The best part is you can make so many variations based on what jam you use. My current favorite filling for these cookies have been Tayberry jam. Funny story behind this, I was wandering around the PDX airport waiting for my delayed flight when I happened upon a quaint little shop with Oregon native products. I found these little jars of jam from Plum Tree Jam, which is have a whole host of jams from berries I've never heard of. Okay, I'm exaggerating. There were a handful of berries I've never heard of, but that's still a lot considering I've constantly at grocery stores and farmer's markets on my free time. The great thing about this company was that it started when a girl and her mom accidentally had way too many plums on their backyard tree. I love those small, homegrown companies.
Alright enough of me raving about a small jam company based in Portland, OR. Let's get to these thumbprint cookies. They have this lovely shortbread texture to them with a slightly almond-y taste. My cousin replaces a portion of flour with almond meal for added texture, but personally I love the buttery softness of all-purpose flour with a dash of almond extract. Also depending on the type of sweet tooth you have, pick your jams wisely. I like to pick jams that have a kick of tartness to counter the sweetness of the shortbread. Okay, okay, here's the recipe as follows, you guys.
Disclaimer: You need to chill the dough prior to shaping and baking. I have made the dough the night before as well as in the morning and baked at night.
1 c unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c tayberry jam (or whatever jam you want to use)
optional, 3-4 droppers Receptra Naturals Unflavored or Fresh Berry CBD Oils
Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on high until creamy.
Lower the mixer to a medium speed and toss in the sugar, vanilla, and almond extracts. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the ingredients.
Turn the mixer off, add the flour. Turn the mixer back on to a low-setting. I have a "stir" option on my stand mixer, which worked great. A soft dough will form, once this occurs, turn off the mixer.
Form the dough into a ball and tightly wrap with a plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Shape dough into balls, approximately 1 Tbsp per cookie. Use your thumb or teaspoon to press wells into your dough for the jam. I prefer using a teaspoon because it makes all the wells uniform.
Fill each well with jam until full. If using CBD oil, mix together the CBD oil and jam prior to filling. Usually just under a teaspoon is good enough.
This is just extra precaution, but I place the cookie sheet in the fridge to firm up prior to baking. You don't want the dough to get too soft because it'll flatten and not hold the jam as well.
Bake cookies for approximately 13-15 mins. The cookies will puff, slightly spread, and the edges will lightly brown. Allow cookies to cool a bit, just a few minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack to completely cool.