This recipe takes me straight back to my childhood. Thumbs cookies were one of the first cookies I mastered on my own and there was many a Saturday afternoon when I proudly presented a batch to the family to be enjoyed with afternoon tea. I do not make them nearly as often these days but they are still a favourite and special because I associate them with happy memories of learning to bake.
When I was working on my ebook Cookie Jar last year there was no question that this recipe had to be included. I did not have the original from way back when so I started from scratch and redeveloped it. If you are looking for baking ideas for the little ones this is a lovely tactile recipe – children (young and old *wink*) will love rolling the dough into balls, stamping out little holes and filling them with glorious sticky jam.
Feel free to substitute the apricot jam with another kind, but I do find that apricot works brilliantly in this recipe. Also note that the potency of almond essence can vary between brands. If you are using a stronger essence then one teaspoon should be sufficient.
ALMOND and APRICOT THUMB COOKIES
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 tsp almond essence
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
50ml smooth apricot jam
Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Step 2.) Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the egg and almond essence and mix in.
Step 3.) Add the flour and baking powder and mix to form a dough.
Step 4.) Take heaped teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll them into balls. Arrange the balls on the tray, then gently press the centre of each ball with your thumb to make a small hole.
Step 5.) Fill the holes with apricot jam (about 1/4 teaspoon per cookie). Bake for 8 minutes, then turn the tray 180 degrees and bake for a further 8 minutes or until the edges are starting to go golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.