Who doesn't love melt-in-your-mouth almond shortbread cookies, but even more so with a little bit of sugar plums thrown in for magic! Sugar Plum Shortbread Cookies are perfect for holiday teas or Christmas cookie celebrations! Tender, buttery shortbread with a touch of holiday sugar plum jam...sweet and simple with sweet plums and a touch of citrus makes these perfectly delightful - and loved by all of the sugar plum fairies in the world!
Throw in a Holiday Giveaway and you'll have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head!
Are you a little bit intrigued yet? These classic shortbread thumbprint cookies are tender and buttery, and with a few little tricks, bake up perfect every single time!
I have made more kinds of shortbread thru the years than I can count, and this is the one that makes everyone close their eyes and declare, "The best one ever..."
It all starts with quality ingredients. Good quality butter, pure vanilla extract, the purest almond extract - when there are only five simple ingredients, quality matters. And it only gets better from here on out!
THE SECRETS TO PERFECT SHORTBREAD COOKIES:
So many thumbprint cookie recipes instruct you to keep your cookie dough chilled before you roll them out. We're going to chill the dough overnight, which gives everything a chance to meld together into rich, cookie dough perfection. The next morning, remove the cookie dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temp for about 30 minutes before rolling cookie dough balls in your nice warm hands. Smooth dough and smooth edges, and so easy to work with!
We'll fill each thumbprint with a tiny bit of sugar plum jam, and then we're going to pop the entire baking pan in the freezer for 10 minutes (or the fridge for 30 minutes). This allows the cookies to set up nice and firm, keep their shape, bake up to golden perfection, and no cracks. Ever!
Once these bake up nice and golden, you're going to take them out of the oven and then add another tiny half spoonful of Stonewall Kitchen's Sugar Plum jam - the warmth of the cookies from the oven will melt this additional jam up, and it will fill up the thumbprint all pretty. All that's left is to cool these down, and if you have the patience to wait, drizzle with a sweet light swirl of silky vanilla and almond icing.
SNOWFLAKES & COFFEECAKES
SUGAR PLUM SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Who doesn’t love melt-in-your-mouth almond shortbread cookies, but even more so with a little bit of sugar plums thrown in for magic. Sugar Plum Shortbread Cookies are perfect for holiday teas or Christmas cookie celebrations!
Tender, buttery shortbread with a touch of holiday sugar plum jam...sweet and simple with a touch of citrus make these perfectly delightful - and loved by all of the sugar plum fairies in the world!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 2 Tbsp (264g) all-purpose flour (sifted & spooned – not scooped!)
1 cup Sugar Plum jam
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoon cream or half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
HOW I MAKE THESE:
- Beat the butter on high speed with a handheld or stand mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and add half of the flour; turn the mixer on low and slowly beat just until combined. Add remaining flour and again mix slowly just until a very soft dough is formed. Press the dough down into bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill overnight.
- The next day, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator an hour before you intend to start baking.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (parchment paper seems to work better than silicone mats for these shortbread cookies).
- Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, making sure they're nice and smooth. Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it, but you can pinch the dough back together gently. Fill each impression with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place prepared cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes – this step is MANDATORY!
- Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake!
- Remove from oven and immediately spoon an additional ½ teaspoon of Sugar Plum jam into each cookie, smoothing it around to fill the indentation evenly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream/half & half, vanilla and almond extract and corn syrup until smooth. Add more liquid to thin out or add more powdered sugar to thicken to your desired consistency. Carefully drizzle over cooled cookies and allow glaze to set (you can refrigerate to speed this process up).
- Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Baked cookies can be frozen up to 30 days – thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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