Grandma Alma’s Thumbprint Cookies

In honor of Grandma Alma’s 85th(!) birthday today, I’m sharing her famous Thumbprint Cookie recipe which we –Emma, Lizzie and I – managed to mangle badly last night.

These are Thumbprint Cookies Ina Garten made. Grandma Alma's are USUALLY very similar looking, but Grandma Alma uses 1/2 C white sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar, while Ina uses all white sugar.

These are Thumbprint Cookies Ina Garten made. Grandma Alma’s are USUALLY very similar looking, but Grandma Alma uses 1/2 C white sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar, while Ina uses all white sugar.

This is a very simple recipe that creates a beautiful presentation and is a traditional brunch/shower/tea necessity in our part of the world.

butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, all purpose flour salt, egg, pecans

butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, all purpose flour salt, egg, pecans

First, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Do I have to say Fahrenheit? Is anybody out there cooking in Celsius?

Emma Thumbprint Cookies

In your mixer, cream together 1 ½ C butter and ½ C white sugar and ½ C packed brown sugar until they are just combined and then add 1 teaspoon vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the 3 ½ C all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Cover mixing bowl in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Now’s a good time to chop ½ C pecans.

Liz Thumbprint Cookies

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch or quarter-size balls. Dip each ball into egg wash (that’s just 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) and then roll it in chopped pecans or coconut or both or neither! Grandma likes coconut best, but I’m out of coconut so it’s pecans this time.

Shortbread Balls

Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your thumb. You want a hollow that will hold something, but not a lake. If you’re filling with jam or jelly go ahead and drop 1/4 teaspoon of it into each indentation. If you’re filling with icing or lemon curd or some such, add after cookies are baked and cooled.
Bake cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

As I said, we mangled this by running all over creation (me), not listening to directions well (girls) and lack of interest (Jack and Thomas- no way they’re not getting any blame,) so we have shortbread balls covered in pecans. Not bad tasting, but definitely not up to Grandma’s standards. We’ll give it another try tonight.

Grandma Alma

Anyway, Happy Birthday Grandma Alma from your favorite!

UPDATE: Oh y’all! I just found the most scrumptious looking recipe while stealing borrowing Ina’s photo: Savory Cheddar and Pepper Jelly Cookies from Michelle at Big Black Dogs. I cannot wait to try this! Sounds yummy.

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