Thumb Print Cookies

Did you know that there’s a Thumbprint Cookie Capital of Texas? Well, now you do. It’s in Slaton, Texas. I learned this little gem from a co-worker of mine who drove from New York to Portland via Texas. She went the long way, but think of how much richer her life is knowing she’s been to the Thumbprint Cookie Capital of Texas! Now you can experience my favorite Thumbprint Cookie recipe.

Some of my recipes are original, a blend of experiments that actually turned out. This one is not an original; it’s a classic! (Did you see how I used a semi-colon there correctly?) My Grandma Pauline had a original version, 1950’s version Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. Grandma is one of the main contributors to my baking lessons as a child and I love having her cookbook! Some of the best parts are the tips (one of my favorites is included below). My favorite is not the recipes, but my Grandma’s clipped in recipes like this typed crumbling recipe for sourdough starter on top of a recipe for dill pickles.

recipe bookthumbprint cookies cookedgrandma

The only original part of this recipe that I can take credit for is the type of nuts I chose and my addition of Aunt Becky’s 4 Berry Jam during cooking. The 1950’s Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book version is below with my additions/comments in italics.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES Nut-rich…the thumb dents filled with sparkling jelly. I’m as delighted with this quaint addition to our cooky collection, from Ken MacKenzie, as is the collector of old glass when a friend presents her with some early thumbprint goblets.

Gather It

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • 1/2 cup butter (Betty says 1/2 shortening and half butter)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (save egg white for later)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted GOLD METAL Flour (I never sift because I don’t want to)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts and chopped coarsely)

Make It

  • Mix together thoroughly butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla
  • Sift together and stir in flour and salt
  • Roll into 1″ balls (If you get excited and melt the butter rather than softening, just put the batter in the fridge while you add dishes to the dishwasher or wash them. When you’re done, the batter should be the right consistency for rolling.)
  • Dip in slightly beaten egg whites.
  • Roll in finely chopped nuts
  • Place about 1″ apart on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 5 min then remove from oven.
  • Quickly press thumb (or spoon) gently on top of each cooky. (I like to add Aunt Becky’s 4 Berry Jam at this point.)
  • Return to oven and make 8 minutes longer. Cool.
  • Place in thumbprints a bit of chopped candied fruit, sparkling jelly, or tinted confectioners’ sugar icing.

Gobble It

  • Now Betty suggests that this recipe makes 2 dozen 1 1/2 inch cookies. My version made 11 cookies!
  • Also Betty spelled cookie “cooky”, so you be the judge.
  • Either way, I bet you can’t eat just one.

One of my favorite pages from the 1950’s version Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book

How to Get PERFECT Results from Recipes in this Book…

  1. Read Recipe Correctly! Every word of it. And be sure to see if there’s anything to be done before you start mixing…like chopping nuts or melting chocolate.
  2. Look at the Pictures! They give you “know how” you need for every step.
  3. Turn on the Heat! If the cookies are to be baked immediately after mixing, see that the oven is heated to correct temperature.
  4. Get Your Ingredients Together! Saves time and steps to have them all in one place.
  5. Collect Utensils, Too! Gather together all you’ll need…from the flour sifter to the baking pan.
  6. Measure as Exactly as a Druggist follows a doctor’s prescription! Two minutes spent measuring carefully may save you hours of grief.
  7. Mix Carefully as Directed (cream or stir or beat or fold in, etc.). Follow every step exactly as described in the recipe and pictures.
  8. Bake or Cook or otherwise prepare correctly as the recipe indicates. Correct cooking or baking is necessary for complete success.
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One thought on “Thumb Print Cookies

  1. Pingback: Jam Thumbprints | Zlater Family CookBook

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