When your children ask if they can help make cookies, the answer is sure to be yes when the recipe is easy, fun and delicious. Thumbprint cookies are just what the name implies, a cookie with a thumbprint in the middle which is filled will delicious homemade cherry filling. Even the youngest children can help with this project as dough is rolled into small balls and placed on a cookie sheet. Tiny thumbs can then be pressed into the dough to create a small imprint soon to be filled with sticky, sweet cherry filling. The kitchen will smell wonderful, the kids will feel accomplished and you’ll have a tasty treat that can’t be beat.
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.
Preheat oven to 350°. 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.
Makes 2-3 Dozen