Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 7: My Momma's Thumbprints

Boy, has it gotten cold out there! Today it was in the mid-20's, but the wind has been wicked! I think our overnight wind chill is going to be under zero. Yikes!

There's nothing better than a mug of hot cocoa and a few cookies to warm your soul on a cold, blustery evening.

Today I bring you a Thumbprint cookie. There are many variations on the thumbprint, including some with nuts, some without, some with frosting, some with jam, some chocolatey, some not so much. 

This recipe comes from my Mom. She's been making them at Christmas-time as long as I can remember. They are basically a shortbread cookie, not too sweet. With the addition of oats and chopped walnuts, they have a slightly nutty taste. The slightly crumbly not-so-sweet cookie base pairs wonderfully with the sweet frosting.

The frosting I used is a basic powdered sugar & milk combination, with a few tablespoons of melted butter thrown in the mix so it will set up. I also added almond extract, which is my Mom's favorite.

I colored the frosting hues of red and green, just like Mom. She never dyes the frosting too vividly, because she gets grossed out by foods with a really strong color. (She won't go anywhere near any food that is blue! Except for blueberries, and blueberry donuts of course... ;-) Love you, Mom!)

By the way, my Business Man  calls these cookies "Bird's Nest cookies." Funny how things have different names depending on what your family calls something! 

Question: Do you call these types of cookies "Thumbprints" or "Bird's Nests"?

Here's the recipe!


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups flour
  • colored frosting, flavored with an extract (almond, orange, raspberry, coconut, ...)


Preheat oven to 325*F. Mix all ingredients in mixer. Form into 1-inch balls. Press thumb in center of each. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. When cool, place colored frosting in the center of each.

Hope you enjoy; I know my co-workers will! Happy Baking!


Alissa said...

Thumbprints all the way. I have never heard of them called anything else EVER :)

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