These have long been a favorite with my children, in no small part for the kinetic molding method (what kid doesn’t love to stick their fingers into cookie dough?) and because they are nearly infinitely customizable. At least in my kitchen… Because you fill the thumbprint with jam or jelly, and I usually have anywhere from 6-12 varieties of those in the pantry. Now, it’s closer to 6 since I’m not on the Farm and putting up dozens of jars of berries and fruits into delicious preserves, but it’s still a fun way to make special cookies the kids – and others! – will love.
I used my stand mixer, but this is doable by hand, just more effort!
Preheat oven to 350 deg F
On med-low, cream together the butter and the cream cheese. This is easier if they are at room temp.
Slowly add in the sugar.
Add the eggs, lemon, and vanilla, let beat on med-high until creamy and smooth.
Turn the speed down, and add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, adding in the sale and baking powder after the first cup. As soon as the flour is fully incorporated, stop beating.
Chill the dough. You can work with it right away, but it will be easier if it's been in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
using confectioner's sugar to keep them from sticking, form the dough into balls. I like mine to be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, approximately. They will not spread much, so you can space them close together on the cookie sheet. Once you have the sheet full, press a divot into each ball with your thumb.
Fill the divots with jam or jelly. Don't fill it too full, but expect that some will overflow during baking, anyway. I like a silicon baking sheet for this reason. Parchment paper works, too.
For this batch I used two fillings – Peach Skin Jelly, and a Blueberry Jam that didn’t gel well. The jelly wound up sinking into the cookie, but the flavor played nicely with the lemon and cream cheese. The blueberry was just wonderful and it might be my favorite after Chokecherry Jelly (which I can’t get anymore, since they don’t seem to grow near me in Ohio).
The cookies that result from this are moist, tender, flaky, and have a little candy center packed with flavor. Truly scrumptious!