Hallelujah! It's National Cookie Day and Christmas Cookie Season: Brown Butter Thumbprints!



I am of Dutch heritage and 
thank them for more than 
windmills and tulips! 





The English word "cookie" is derived from the Dutch word "koekie" meaning little cake

Dutch bakers used to test oven temperatures on small amounts of batter so that they wound not waste the entire cake mix if the temperature wasn't right.  It wasn't long before they discovered that these tiny pieces of cooked batter were actually quite tasty.

Modern Christmas cookies can trace their history to recipes from Medieval Europe biscuits ~ when many of the ingredients we use now, such as ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, almonds and dried fruit were introduced into the west.  

By the 16th century, Christmas biscuits were popular across Europe.  Not until the 17th century, when the Dutch brought them here, did we see the early examples of Christmas cookies in the United States.  Gingerbread cookies were among the popular early American cookies.

I for one, am thrilled this practice carried on, as cookies are my favorite sweet treat!


Cookie Monster busy baking his cookies!

In 1976, Sesame Street included National Cookie Day on its calendar for the first time on November 26.  The Cookie Monster also proclaimed his own National Cookie Day in the 1980 book The Sesame Street Dictionary.
 
Then in 1987, Matt Nader of the Blue Chip Cookie Company out of San Francisco created Cookie Day, celebrating it on today, December 4th.

There is a cookie out there for everyone, and here’s a perfect buttery cookie to add to your Christmas cookie repertoire!

I’ve made thumbprint cookies for many years, and was intrigued when I came across this recipe in the Chicago Tribune for Brown Butter Thumbprints.  




I love that the usual thumbprints are kicked up a notch by using browned butter.  Browning butter adds a new dimension to an already good kitchen staple.  It’s an easy way to change-up a recipe. And the aroma as they’re baking, is magnificent.




Browned butter gives the cookie a nutty caramel flavor that is a perfect complement to blackberry jam.  Choose the jam of your liking, we like blackberry, apricot or is fine also.  




A little cardamom goes a long way; I added one-half teaspoon to the mix; however, if cardamom is new to you, go easy with it, and use a little less for a background note.  It has a distinctive, spicy flavor, maybe a little citrusy, I think it’s great in baked goods and learned about baking with it many years ago from my Swedish MIL.

Allow for additional time when making these, as the butter will have to freeze for a short time.  Then, later, the cookies will have to be refrigerated for a while before baking. 

Give this one a go, bet you'll really like it!



Yield: About 30 cookies

Brown Butter Thumbprints

Here's a perfect buttery cookie to add to your Christmas cookie repertoire!

ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup superfine sugar*
Gold sanding sugar, optional
1 large egg
⅓ to ⅔ cup seedless jam
Frosting, optional

instructions:

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
Cook, swirling the pan, until brown flecks appear and the butter smells nutty, about 7 minutes.
Pour into a heatproof bowl.
Freeze, stirring occasionally, until the butter is spreadable, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
Beat the browned butter and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the egg until combined.
Reduce the mixer speed until the dough comes together.
Roll dough into 1” balls, then roll in the remaining ¼ cup sugar, or gold sanding sugar.
Arrange about 1½” apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Using the tip of your thumb, make a small indentation in the center of each cookie, without going through bottom of dough; pinching together any large cracks.
Refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
While refrigerating:
Preheat oven to 375°.
Fill each indentation with ½ to 1 teaspoons jam.
Bake until cookies are set and lightly browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes.
Let cool completely on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks.
Decorate with frosting, if desired.  Add a drop of red or green food coloring to white frosting, if you like variety.

notes:

*I sift regular sugar
I rolled the balls in gold sanding sugar. 
Allow 35-40 minutes freezing time for butter.
Allow 20-30 minutes refrigerator time for dough.
Baking time about 25 minutes.







Enjoy!




37 comments:

  1. Christmas cookie season is almost here! I can't wait- you make the best Christmas cookies I've ever had, and certainly miles better than anything you can buy in a store. I've already had several people I work with asking if I'm bringing in cookies again.
    Just goes to prove that not only are your cookies delicious they're also a hit with anyone lucky enough to try them!

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    Replies
    1. Woo hoo, Bubba! Thanks son! I know exactly your favorites! I definitely make a plethora of Christmas cookies and love doing it. And it makes me happy your co-workers like them also! There's plenty of cookies to go around. Here's to Christmas cookie season! Love you

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  2. I love the cookie season! Thumbprint cookies are a must for cookie tray. Yours made with brown butter sound and look really intriguing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Angie! Me too! I've always made thumbprint cookies but really like this version, more of a nutty caramel taste. Take care and have a wonderful week!

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  3. The Christmas season has me continuously noshing on cookies (smile). I have no doubt your kitchen is warm and the scent of baked cookies fill the air.
    btw, thumbprints are one of my very favorite.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Velva

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Velva! Glad you're a thumbprint fan also! It's a great way to warm up the kitchen for sure. Hope you have a great week and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  4. Pam, We both love brown butter thumbprint cookies. A dollop of jam is a real plus too. We had a couple of terrific oatmeal raisin cookies in celebration of this important Holiday! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dave! Glad you like the cookies too! Your oatmeal raisin sounds perfect for the celebration! Have a wonderful week!

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  5. You are right about cardamom :) A little is all you need! I love how adaptable thumb print cookies are - the indentation can hold any flavor you like!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan! Yes, you're right, a touch of it goes a long way. The flavors can change easily with the jam in these cookies. Take care

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  6. Your history of cookies is amusing. It could be true, or could be a just-so story, but it's fun either way. The recipe is appealing!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mae! Yes, who knows how it all occurred! I'm just glad there's a day just for cookies! Take care

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  7. I am a big fan of cookies too. I love the idea of using brown butter in these cookies, sounds yummy. Also I like cardamom when I am baking. I think these cookies look and sound yummy!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dawn! They're really good! But that's just my opinion! 😉

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  8. Cookies are my absolute favorite. And these will certainly be on my favorite cookie list!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Abbe! Hope you like them! Take care

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  9. Wow, these cookies have my name written all over them! Happy baking Pam!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katerina! They are yummy! And here's wishing you Happy Baking! Take care

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks, Natalia! Glad you like them. ☺

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  11. What great-looking , delicious little treat! I'm sure they don't last long in the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Duta! Thanks! No, not very long! Have a good rest of the week!

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  12. Love thumbprint cookies. And love browned butter. Have never put the two together! But I will. :-) These look great - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, John! They're great together, a pretty good cookie! Take care

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  13. Cookies are my favorite treats, too. I try to hide them from myself in the freezer, but find I like frozen cookies just fine! Your thumbprints sound fabulous---so yummy with browned butter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz! Ha! Ha!!! That probably wouldn't work for me either, hardly ever met a cookie I wouldn't eat. Love this time of year for all the good cookies!

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  14. Hi Pam, cookies are my favorite treats too and cardamom is delicious in baked goods. Love everything about these treats;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cheri! Yes, I agree with the cardamom, adds a great flavor. Thanks for the visit!

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  15. I had no idea it was a Dutch word or the origin of the cookie! Brown butter i the best, the thumbprints looks so delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyne! I didn't know that either. Thumbprints are one of our favorites here. Take care

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  16. i'm on a real brown butter kick lately and am just getting ready to make some brown butter snickerdoodles today! i'm thinking i might have to add some thumbprints to the docket too. :)

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    Replies
    1. Woo hoo! Brown butter snickerdoodles sound great, Grace! Brown butter makes cookies better. :-) Thanks for the visit!

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  17. PErfect for cookie day! Merry Christmas and have a blessed Holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  18. These are such cute cookies. I hope you had a wonderful cookie day.

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  19. Perfect cookie to add to my list for a Christmas cookie tray for my open house next week.

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  20. Pam, you've outdone yourself. I enjoyed the history of the cookie and lucky for me, those were virtual cookies. I think I would have made a sizable dent in your batch. Love a good cookie!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love thumbprint cookies and I have to try yours. I like the idea of using brown butter, it must give it a nutty flavor.

    ReplyDelete


Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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Hi!
I am happy to hear what you have to say, and appreciate your taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.
Keep smiling!
Pam





You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen


You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook

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