There are certain items, both in every day life and in the kitchen, that need a good splurge. For example, a great mascara is something to spend a few extra pennies on. Your lashes will never achieve their full potential with Covergirl. You need to hit up Sephora, grab something better quality and really revel in your long and luscious lashes. Or boots. I’ve had a few different pairs of boots and none have lasted as well or been nearly as comfortable as the ones I splurged on.
The same can be said for lots of items in the kitchen. Vanilla extract will do but the caviar from a real vanilla bean just adds something special. And let me tell you about why you need to spend the few extra bucks and buy a good quality ice cream/cookie scoop. It will save you so much time, so much money and so much hassle. And jam. If you are using your jam for more than just a little schmear on an English muffin, you really need to spend the extra pennies and get the good stuff.
I knew when I made these jam thumbprints that I needed good quality jam, since it’s really the highlight of the cookie. The cookie itself is a simple shortbread style treat that gets coated in walnuts for a little extra pizzazz. The shining star, however, is the jam. It gets plunked down in the center of the cookie and then baked to an almost caramelized perfection. If you use crappy jam or jelly, it will be clear immediately. The taste is different, the texture doesn’t come out quite right and the cookie will not be what it could be had you splurged.
And if we’re going there and talking good quality jam, we have to talk about Bonne Maman. It’s the cat’s pajamas, if you ask me. I used wild blueberry and raspberry preserves in these cookies but really, the wild blueberry stole the show. I’m now using it on just about everything. Bonne Maman is in the grocery store next to the rest of the jams and jellies so be sure to pick up a jar in any flavor, they’re all delicious.
Note: A lot of specialty stores, such as Homegoods or even a local garden center that carries local products, usually have lots of different jams and jellies. I was actually aiming for a champagne blueberry but it was gone this year.
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- wild blueberry jam for filling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, cream butter. Slowly add sugar and beat until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and flour. Slowly add to the mixer and beat until incorporated.
- Place the chopped walnuts in a bowl. Take rounded tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Roll the balls in the nuts to cover.
- Using your thumb (or a wine cork if you like uniformity), press down a small well into the center of each dough ball. Use a small spoon and add a bit of jam into each well.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before storing.