(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, “Jam Thumbprints”)
Aunt LoLo’s Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 30 cookies
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar (extra, for rolling. Colored sugar would be fun here, too.)
1/2 cup Raspberry-Rhubarb preserves, or your favorite jam or preserves
1. In the large bowl of your mixer, beat your shortening on medium for 30 seconds, so it’s light and fluffy. Add your egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Lower the speed and mix in your flour. Gather your dough into a disk, ball or baton (whatever floats your boat), wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
2. Preheat your oven to 375, and prepare a large baking sheet with a silicone mat, parchment paper or Pam. Roll your dough out into 1” balls, roll in sugar, and place on your cookie sheet, 1” apart. By off-setting the rows, I could fit 30 cookies onto one sheet. Carefully put a thumbprint into each ball, smashing it into a cratered disc. (You’ll need that crater after baking, for filling with jam!)
3. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom edges just barely start to brown. (If your craters have puffed out while you were baking the cookies, carefully use your thumb or the back of a spoon to push them back down before the cookies cool.) Pull them out, let them cool for a few minutes, and remove them to a rack to cool. When they are completely cool, spoon about 1/2 tsp. jam into each crater.
Enjoy! These are a very rich little cookie, but not so smothering as a normal thumbprint cookie. The shortening makes the difference.