It may only be October, but it’s definitely NOT too early to start thinking about Christmas cookies. In fact, in my house, it’s apparently not too early to think about anything Christmas-related, especially presents. All of my kids have already made their Christmas lists, all of which basically read like Target ads. My middle son actually wrote “all items sold at Target” in large font at the top of his list. Got it, thanks, buddy.
As for me, though I thoroughly enjoy all things fall, I’m also excited about Christmastime. One of my favorite things to look forward to is our annual white elephant Christmas party, celebrating its 15th year this year! I love putting together a vibrant, eclectic menu to serve our guests, and I’d like to think it’s partly the food (and not just the terrible sci-fi DVDs, clown paintings, and poo-scented candles) that keeps people coming back year after year.
Probably my favorite portion of the menu to plan is the dessert spread–for which I believe these Apricot-Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies are a strong contender. I usually like to plan a mix of bars, candies, cookies, possibly a pie or trifle, and at least one show-stopping cheesecake for the event. Past favorite cookies have included mint chocolate candy cane cookies and pumpkin chocolate chip. But the unique hint of savoriness is where I think these apricot-rosemary thumbprints really shine, either on their own or as part of my larger holiday cookie combo.
These don’t take many ingredients, but fresh rosemary is essential. (I’m fortunate enough to have some in my garden, but if you don’t, you can always freeze it if you end up with too much from another recipe!) Also, as you’re making these, you may think, “Holy saturated fat, that’s a lot of butter for such a small batch.” And you’re right. But these come out sooooo perfectly rich and fluffy, I’d say they’re worth the hefty dose of butter. Combine that richness with the earthiness of the rosemary and the fruity sweetness of the apricot jam and you’ve got a Christmas cookie that will disappear fast.
Got a party coming up this holiday season? I’d love to hear if you try these thumbprints!
Apricot-Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. butter, softened
- 1/3 c. powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp. almond extract
- 1/3 c. apricot jam
- extra powdered sugar for dusting
- In a small bowl stir together flour, cornstarch, rosemary, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with a hand mixer for 30 seconds or until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract and beat again.
- Beat in as much of the flower mixture into the butter mixture as you can with the mixer. Work the rest in with a wooden spoon.
- Collect the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and form into about 16 balls, placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Press a divot into each cookie with your thumb or a spoon and fill in with a little apricot jam.
- Bake about 14 minutes. Cool, then sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.