lemon thumbprint cookies with blood orange marmalade

December 16th, 2011

Before Chistmas I was determined to do two things: a) bake cookies b) post a food recipe on this deprived little blog. So yay! With a free morning in sight, I hurriedly ran to the store picked up key cookie-making ingredients, flour, sugar, butter and a few other odds and ends. Since we’ve had an onslaught of sweet stuff arrive in our office, I wanted to make something that was a little more fruity to contrast the usual chocolates. Thumbprint cookies seemed like the perfect idea—especially jazzed up with a little seasonal citrus in the form of meyer lemons and blood orange marmalade. Plus they’re easy.

The cookies are a snap to make—the most work you’ll do is zesting a lemon. I mean come on. The dough doesn’t fully blend, it kind of forms little clumps. You simply squeeze it together into little balls, then, as the name suggests, you press you’re thumb into the center to form a little well.

I experimented a bit with these cookies.

experiment 1: fill the well with marmalade before baking
This didn’t work so hot. The marmalade leaked over the sides and had a tendency to burn. Still edible, just not very pretty.

experiment 2: add chocolate
After learning to keep the well empty, I baked the cookies without the marmalade. While they were in the oven, I had the genius idea to add melted chocolate between the cookie and the marmalade.

experiment 3: keep it simple
Ok, this isn’t really an experiment, but I kept the well empty and then just added the marmalade.

After they were all done, I have to say, I like the simplest cookies the best. The chocolate and blood orange ones are tasty, I’m not going to lie—there’s a nice balance of sweet, smooth chocolate with zesty orange. But my goal was to create a bright, fresh cookie and the simple, lemon dough paired with the bright and tangy blood orange was perfect. Plus I love the color of the simple ones, the orange marmalade dots each center and looks graphic and bold while still being lovely. So if you’re looking for a cookie to mix things up this holiday season, I highly recommend these cookies.

lemon thumbprint cookies with blood orange marmalade
adapted from epicurious

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons grated meyer lemon zest (a regular lemon will do too)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (a regular lemon will do too)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
about 1 cup blood orange marmalade

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly butter 2 baking sheets.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat 1 cup butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt.

Add flour in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form.

Gather dough together in bowl to bind dough. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Using finger, make deep indentation in center of each ball. I found that wetting my thumb with a little water helped keep the dough from cracking.

Bake cookies until firm to touch and golden on bottom, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Immediately fill indentation in each cookie with 1/4 teaspoon melted chocolate (if using) and scant 1/2 teaspoon marmalade.

Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will soften slightly.)

Comments: 7 Total

  1. Sam @ The Second Lunch

    December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I’m pretty sure I can smell that wonderful pile of lemon zest through the screen. I also love the texture on the lemons from your zester…Gorgeous!!

  2. Objective Subject

    December 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    The OS office says thanks!

  3. NicoleD

    December 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Oh yes, these look really good!

  4. Pingback: Happy Weekend! Links | The Fete Blog

    December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm
  5. Pingback: Lowbush Cranberry Marmalade Relish — And Other Ways to Use the Marm You’ve Got « Hitchhiking to Heaven

    December 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm
  6. Sarah

    December 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    These look lovely! Thank you :)

  7. Yosef - This American Bite

    December 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Just came across your site for the first time and I love the name – when I was picking names for my blog, I had a similar name on my “maybe” list, I think it was “eat, write, share”! These cooking look great, and I look forward to visiting your blog again. Happy New Year!

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