Heart Thumbprint Cookies
Roses are red, violets are blue. These cookies are cute, and so easy…too. Um, on second thought, we’ll let the heart thumbprint cookies do the talking.
“This is just a variation on a traditional thumbprint cookie,” says recipe developer Erin McDowell, “but there are two indentations in opposite directions, so it looks like a heart.” Hellooo, Valentine’s Day treat.
It’s best to use a seedless jam or jelly so the cookies are easy to fill and the hearts don’t look gloppy. We also find that stirring the jelly before filling the cookies helps loosen the texture. They’ll keep really well for up to a week, but don’t count on them lasting that long.
This beats conversation hearts, no?
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (106g) light brown sugar
1 large (56g) egg
1 large (21g) egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups (270g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more as needed
⅓ cup (113g) jelly, jam or fruit preserves (see note)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and mix to combine. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl, then add the egg yolk and vanilla, and mix to combine.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until the dough just starts to come together, about 2 minutes. It should appear a bit dry and crumbly. Add the cream and mix to combine. If the dough still seems too dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until it comes together.
4. Divide the dough into 24 even pieces, then roll each into a ball. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, staggering the rows of cookies and leaving about 1½ inches between each one. Use your thumb or a finger to gently press into the dough diagonally toward the left side, then rotate your finger to press again on toward the right side, making a heart shape.
5. Transfer the trays to the oven and bake until lightly golden at the edges, 9 to 12 minutes, rotating the trays between oven racks halfway through baking. While the cookies bake, ready the jam and a small spoon (or put the jam in a piping bag and cut a small opening from the tip).
6. When the cookies come out of the oven, carefully fill the cavities with jam while they are still warm. Serve immediately or store in airtight containers for up to a week.
Note: This works best with a smooth, seedless fruit preserve. Jelly is best, but if you have a particularly chunky jam, you can blend it briefly in a blender or food processor to smooth it out.