Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

A cookie with a thumbprint in the middle which is filled will delicious homemade cherry filling.

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

For the homemade cherry jam:
1 pound fresh bing cherries, washed and pitted (about 2 cups)
1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup sugar

For the cookie dough:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

To make the jam:
Combine bing cherries and water in a small pot and simmer over low heat until fruit is tender, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice, zest, and sugar and stir gently until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, stirring on occasion, until thick and syrupy. Pour into a shallow bowl and cool, or alternately refrigerate until jam is set. This can be made a day ahead.

To make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla or almond extract. Add flour and mix until just combined. Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an impression in the center of each ball. Fill each cookie with cherry jam making sure each has a cherry in the center. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is set and lightly browned on bottom. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Note: Recipe and photo courtesy of the California Cherry Board.

Servings: 24

For more great recipes like this one, be sure to visit http://www.christmas-cookies.com