Leaving Your Mark (Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies)

Every year my family and I pool our resources to find the perfect Christmas gifts for each other. During the last few Christmases this has resulted in some truly fantastic variety under the tree; everything from concert tickets to fantasy novels to knives to jewelry made from old bullet casings. However, there is one item on the Christmas list that never changes. Every year, without fail, my dad asks for a box of homemade raspberry thumbprint cookies. This recipe came from an old school friend of mine, a family recipe scribbled onto a scrap piece of paper back in middle school. The paper is now wrinkled and stained, the ink smudged in places. You can always tell which recipes are the good ones by how dirty the years have made them. Here it is, the secret to the best raspberry thumbprint cookies I’ve ever made.


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • Raspberry jam (Homemade is the best. Keep an eye out for friends who enjoy caning delicious jams and jellies and make sure to ask for a couple extra jars around the holidays or whenever you have a hankering for some fabulous baked goods.)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (for the icing)
  • 2-3 teaspoons water


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter, sugar, almond extract and flour until smooth (until the dough begins to stick together). Refrigerate dough for one hour. Roll dough into roughly 1-inch diameter balls. Use your finger (or another round utensils) to place a small hole in the center of each cookie and fill it with raspberry jam. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until just barely beginning to brown. 

Allow cookies to cool completely before icing them. To make the icing, mix powdered sugar, almond extract and water together in a small bowl. Drizzle over cookies and serve with a steaming cup of tea for the full experience. 


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