I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but I can appreciate that “Christmas is coming” meme. And believe me, I’m prepared.
I am an absolute holiday fanatic. I do not roll my eyes in the mall, even when Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” plays for the third time in an hour. I love it as much, if not more than the first time. I love buying presents for people. I love claymation movies (Rudolph isn’t even my favourite – too mainstream). I always make my own Christmas cards. And, of course, I bake.
Last year, pre-blog, I made six different kinds of Christmas treat and packaged them up for friends and family. I hosted a mini holiday gathering at my desk at work. Looking back, I so wish I had been blogging then.
I’m so envious of all of the bloggers who are already circulating content they’ve published during previous holiday seasons. Here I am, Nov. 9, and I already feel late to the party.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe trip to this beautiful abbey, Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, not far from Montreal. I picked up a beautiful jar of cherry preserves and just knew I wanted them to find their way into a Christmas cookie.
Cherry and almond are such a natural pairing and I can’t resist the two together.
Thumbprint cookies are so much fun to bake. The dough base is so simple to throw together, but the end result are like perfect little gems. The fruit preserves get so bright and glossy in the oven. Plus, I love poking my thumb into every cookie. I know that’s weird.
For these sweet little thumbprints, I ended up playing with the cherry preserves, but got so excited I tried some with homemade strawberry jam and a beautiful jar of champagne-infused blueberry jam. This recipe is so flexible. You can use your favourite jam or fruit preserve. Or even your favourite nut, if you aren’t partial to almonds. I’d love to see what someone does with hazelnuts and Nutella!
Christmas cookie season has only just begun, but I seriously can’t wait to keep baking and sharing new recipes with you. If there’s a recipe you’ve always wanted to try or a crazy cool cookie idea you have, I’d love to hear it in the comments.
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Berry almond thumbprint cookies
Makes 2 dozen
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup white sugar + 2 tbsp (for rolling)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup of ground almonds or crushed, sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup of jam or fruit preserves
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream your butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing again until fully combined. In a separate bowl, blend your flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture, mixing between every 1/2 cup of dry ingredient added.
- Crush almonds (if using sliced almonds) or place ground almonds in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of sugar. Roll dough into 24 individual balls and roll in almonds and sugar until coated. Place on your cookie sheet.
- Press your thumb into each cookie, avoiding tearing through the bottom of the dough. Fill each thumbprint with jam, around 1/2 tsp in each one.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until a light golden brown on the bottom.