Monday, January 19, 2009

Button up.

I just finished baking some disastrous muffins. I guess that's a little extreme, how about very unsatisfying? I attempted to create something of my own instead of following someone else's recipe. I had extra buttermilk and chocolate chips, and I was kind of in the mood for something heartier and healthier like oatmeal, so I thought I'd mix the flavors and make "chocolate oatmeal buttermilk muffins". Now that I write it out, it doesn't sound as appealing as I thought it would. While they smelled wonderful out of the oven, they were almost too tangy and sank a little in the middle. At least they weren't dense and are still edible, but I didn't feel like they were worth sharing about (or taking pictures of). I'll stick with other people's recipes for now. So instead of writing to you about the muffins tonight, I'm going to resurrect a thumb-print cookie I mentioned before and made back in December, which I thought came out delectable!

I decided on this recipe for this post also partially because the cookies look a little like buttons to me and on Saturday night, some friends and I celebrated a birthday by finally watching "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". (Okay, maybe a little bit of a stretch with the whole button connection thing.) It was a great movie that prompted me to think about life and relationships (though it wasn't quite as amazing as I expected or hoped for based on what other people said, but I'd still recommend it, if you haven't seen it). The movie did have a fascinating concept (I discovered at the end of the movie that it was based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald) and was beautifully made; and one of the lines that stuck out in my mind was Mrs. Maple's response when Benjamin, in his early years still looking like an elderly, asked the question of why people die (or maybe it was why we lose people we love, I can't remember exactly). She explained that we're meant to lose the people we love, otherwise we wouldn't know how much they mean to us. How sad to think how true that can be, and it made me hope that I would appreciate how much people mean to me before I lose them.

But anyway, I don't mean to bring you down with that! The original recipe for these cookies is from the December issue of Martha Stewart's Living, and instead of making a key lime filling, as the magazine suggests, I used apricot jam, which did the job perfectly--and quickly. The buttery cookie itself melts in your mouth, while the jam lends a counterbalancing sweet chewiness. My version did come out quite smaller (and much less perfect) than those in the magazine. Nonetheless, they were still cute as...(wait for it) a button (sorry).

Thumbprint (button) Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Living
Makes about 80 one inch cookies

Cookie dough ingredients:
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large yolks
1 t. vanilla extract

Cookie filling:
1/2 cup of your favorite jam

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Cream the butter with sugar using a mixer on low to medium speed until the butter is fluffy and light. Continue beating, adding the vanilla and egg yolks. Once combined, mix in the flour and salt on low. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour (the dough can be refrigerated overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F degrees and line baking pans with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 3/4" balls (about a heaping teaspoon). Using the handle of a wooden spoon or something similar, make indentations in the center of the balls. Spoon jam into the centers. Using the center to upper third racks of the oven and rotating baking sheets midway through, bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookies brown very slightly on the edges. Transfer cookies to cool on a wire rack, and dust powdered sugar over them (I liked the cookies without the powdered sugar as well).


  1. HI Tiffany-
    These look wonderful. I wonder if theyd be just as tasty with raspberry jam. They'd look gorgeous on a cookie tray.

  2. These are adorable and look really delicious!

  3. Hi Donna - I think any jam would work. I like raspberry, too.

    5 Star Foodie - Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Your thumbprints look perfect! I made a chocolate and peanut butter thumbprint cookie recipe a while back, but haven't made any since.

  5. 5 Star Foodie took the words right out of my mouth!

    I like them with homemade apricot jam.

    Thanks for adding us as a friend on Foodbuzz. We welcome you to come visit our site!

  6. Sara - Thank you! Chocolate and peanut butter is always a great combination.

    Nate n Annie - Thanks for visiting my site. Glad to be friends on Foodbuzz!

  7. These thumbprints are so cute...These small things are for one bite. I think I can eat 2 of them at the same time... Yum!

  8. Love the honesty. Not all kitchen escapades can be successful. :) But the thumbprints look tasty!

  9. Another variation, passed down in my family, is to roll the cookie in egg whites and then nuts (crushed walnuts/pecans) before pressing into them. Then, instead of filling with jelly, fill with icing instead. My favorite is to swirl food coloring into the icing, to commemorate any given holiday - red and blue for 4th of July, Red/Pink for Valentine's day, pastels for Easter, etc.


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