This is a simple recipe with lots of room for variations. One of the reasons I love thumbprint cookies is because I love jam on anything and everything! In this particular batch I made them using a cranberry jam I recently made. I have also made these cookies by hiding a chunk of chocolate inside the cookie and leaving the thumbprint out all together! You could also put that piece of chocolate on top in the middle of the thumbprint maybe with some raspberry jam? Yum! The possibilities are endless. You could leave out the coconut and substitute cornmeal with a apricot jam perhaps? There is some cinnamon which could be left out or joined by some other spices and maybe some plum or fig jam in the center? Another option is to leave the jam out when baking and then after they come out of the oven fill them with lemon curd. Or what about substituting 1/4 cup of flour for cocoa powder and then fill the centers after they come out of the oven with caramel? I just may have to try that out next time! Feel free to leave the almond meal (finely ground almonds) out or substitute for another nut. If you don't have any whole wheat pastry flour feel free to use a regular all purpose flour.
Thumbprints (makes approximately 2 dozen)
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup brown sugar (or white sugar if you want)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground almond- if you are unable to find it you can grind your own in the food processor. Feel free to substitute another nut)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until completely emulsified. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together and then mix into the butter mix. Add the coconut and almond meal and mix until combined. Using a tablespoon or small scoop portion out the dough. Roll to a round ball using the palms of your hands and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment or lightly greased. Using your thumb, make a large deep indent in the middle of the cookie (as it cooks this will rise up slightly so make it fairly deep and wide. Bake for 10-12 minutes until almost cooked through. If the center has risen too high you can push the center down a little, and then spoon in enough jam to fill the center. Put them back into the oven for 5-7 minutes, until they are golden brown. Alternatively you can bake them all the way through and then fill them with jam afterward. By baking the with jam for the last half of the baking, it helps the jam to gel and stick inside of the cookie. Keep covered and they will last for a week, if you can keep them that long!
You can also freeze the dough in the balls (with indents already made) on a sheet pan until hard and then place them in a zip lock bag to bake as needed. They can go frozen right into the oven. The baking time will increase slightly. Before adding the jam, the cookies should be pretty much cooked through, but won't have much color and then the second baking will be done after they turn a light golden brown.