Classic Jammers

Recently I had a craving for thumbprint cookies. I don't know why. I'd never made them before but they struck me as something I wanted to make and eat. I turned to my recently acquired Dorie's Cookies cookbook for inspiration. I didn't find a recipe for thumbprints but found something infinitely better.


There's a lovely story behind the creation of this recipe and you'll find it in the book (page 350). The Classic Jammers are part of her Beurre & Sel collection - which it in itself is a great story, also included in the book.

In her description she says these cookies "seemed better suited to tea trays than to lunch boxes" and I'd agree. In my first batch I made the base a little too thin but even with a thicker base, they're still on the delicate side. But Dorie's method for making perfectly round cookies is genius. I love the way they turned out and, more importantly, how they taste.


There are three parts to this recipe: the vanilla sablé cookie base, jam, and the streusel topping.

The sablé is rich and buttery. Two things I learned when working with this dough. First, you need to roll it out the ¼" thickness specified. As I mentioned earlier, my first batch was too thin and the cookies broke too easily.

The second thing I learned is this dough will soften quickly. If you're making these in the summer (as I was) or in a warm kitchen, you'll have to work quickly to cut out the cookies. I ended up doing a few cookies at a time - cutting them out then placing the uncut dough back in the refrigerator. I also put the cut cookies into the fridge while I waited for the dough to firm up.


For the filling I used my Apricot Jam. It was a little on the thin side so I cooked it down until it was a thicker consistency.

To keep the cookies uniformly round, Dorie uses muffin tins (or 2" ring molds for larger cookies). It's genius, as are so many of her tips. For me it was finding the right size cookie cutter. The first batch was a little large so the subsequent batches I used a smaller cutter. As Dorie said, the cookies will spread out to fill the tin. Another important thing - be sure to grease your tin well.


Finally for the topping, Dorie recommends making a double batch of her "Use-It-For-Everything Streusel". One batch is enough for this recipe but because it's so versatile it can be used to top cakes and brownies and lots of other things. I should have listened to her as I ran out of streusel for the last set of cookies. Oh well, live and learn.


I'm obsessed with these cookies and I absolutely recommend making them. They are worth the effort!

Classic Jammers

From Dorie's Cookies

1 recipe French Vanilla Sablés (see below), rolled and ready to cut and bake
About ½ cup thick jam
1 recipe Streusel (see below), chilled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter (or spray) the molds of a regular-size muffin tin (or choose nonstick) – if you’ve got two tins, use both of them – and have a 2-inch cookie cutter at hand.

Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both sheets of parchment paper (it’s hard to cut the dough otherwise); put the dough back on one sheet. Cut the dough and drop the rounds into the muffin tin. (Save the scraps, combine, gather them together, re-roll, chill and cut.) Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the molds, it will once it’s baked.

Spoon about ½ teaspoon jam in the center of each cookie. Spoon or sprinkle streusel around the edges of each cookie – you want to cover the surface, but to leave the jam bare.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, turning the tin after 11 minutes, or until the streusel and the edges of the cookies are golden brown; the jam may bubble and that’s fine. Leave the cookies in the tins for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, always making certain that the tins are cool.

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French Vanilla Sablés

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and the salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. The mixture should be smooth, but not fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and, one by one, beat in the yolks followed by the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, pour in the flour all at once and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour has passed. With the machine on low, mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the dough a couple of turns with a sturdy flexible spatula.
Turn the dough out onto the counter, divide it in half, gather each piece into a ball and shape into a disk.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough ¼-inch thick between sheets of parchment. Slide the parchment-sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet (you can stack the slabs of dough) and freeze for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months or refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Use-it-for-Everything Streusel

¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
5½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

You can make the streusel by hand or in a mixer. (Note from Dorie: I prefer to use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, but fingers are not a compromise.) Whether working with a mixer or by hand, whisk the flour, both sugars and the salt together in the mixer (or mixing) bowl. Drop in the cubes of cold butter and toss all the ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is coated.

If you’re continuing by hand, squeeze, mash, mush or otherwise rub everything together until you have a bowl full of moist clumps and curds. Squeeze the streusel and it will hold together. Sprinkle over the vanilla and toss to blend.

If you’re working with a mixer, mix on medium-low speed until the ingredients form moist, clumpy crumbs. Squeeze the streusel and it will hold together. Reaching this stage takes longer than you think it will – you might have to mix for 10 minutes or more. When the grainy crumbs have turned moist and form clumps and curds, sprinkle over the vanilla and mix until blended.

Pack the streusel into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (3 would be better) before using.


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