When people find out I studied pastry and baking, they always ask if I also know how to cook. The answer is yes (I hope), and I like them both, but there’s something compelling about the aesthetic appeal of baking that transcends cooking. And that is certainly evident in these gorgeous and adorable little cookies: Jam Trios.
Thumbprint cookies — small cookies with a little indentation you can fill with jam, chocolate or whatever you please — are already a constant in my repertoire, since they upgrade a simple sugar cookie dough to something more exciting. But when I saw these cookies in the Gourmet Cookie Book, I knew I had to try them as soon as possible: The same classic buttery dough, the same basic process of thumbprints, but brought to a whole new level by using a triangle to create a kind of triple cookie.
This is also a fun recipe to make with kids or friends, and that way you’ll get some help making all those little balls of dough!
Recipe: (Makes about 40 cookies)
2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Three different types of jam
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and salt and mix together until well combined. Gradually add in the flour and mix until it is all incorporated.
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Divide the dough in two and form it in to two disks, wrap them in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
Roll teaspoonfulls of the chilled dough into small balls, then flatten them to about 1/2″ thick, and place three together – their edges touching – on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Using the end of a wooden spoon or the bowl of a small measuring spoon, press an indentation into the center of each ball.
Fill each indentation with about 1/8 teaspoon of jam, being careful not to over fill.
Bake on 350 F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute’s baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.