So these cookies are my newest love. They're light, buttery shortbread cookies with raspberry centers and a powdered sugar glaze. The most expensive ingredient is a good red raspberry jam--seedless, of course.

In the interest of full disclosure, the original recipe comes from and is titled "Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints." What I've done to make it my own mostly involves playing with a few of the ingredients and their measurements. I've also played with the cooking times.

For the shortbread:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • 1 teaspoon orange (or lemon!) zest (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam (or preserves)

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (aka confectioner's sugar or icing sugar)
  • 1.5 teaspoons almond extract*
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Put it all together now:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (175 C).

  2. Cream your butter and white sugar together until they're nice and smooth, then fold in 1 teaspoon each of almond and vanilla extract and your zest.

  3. Add the flour slowly, hand mixing until you've got a ball of dough.

  4. Roll the dough into 1-2 inch balls and flatten gently on an ungreased cookie pan. (I've also pressed them into cookie cutter shapes with fine results. Just make sure you use more dough, since you want thick cookies to withstand the "thumbprint."

  5. Using your pinkie finger (yeah, yeah, these aren't really thumbprints or else the jam will spill everywhere), press a hole into the center of each ball.

  6. Carefully spoon jam into the hole you've just created. Be careful not to overfill; the jam will spread out as it heats up.

  7. Bake the sheet of cookies for 11-15 minutes, or until they reach the desired burnt-ness. I prefer my cookies slightly underdone, and since these cookies don't contain egg, there's no real harm.

  8. While the cookies cool, mix the ingredients for the glaze. I'd add the milk last. You can play with the recipe--I always do--adding milk and sugar until you've got the right consistency. I find that if the glaze is too runny, it spreads over the cookies. I prefer to make it thick enough that the glaze is a pretty pattern over the cookie's top.

  9. Lightly drizzle your glaze over the top of (slightly) cooled cookies. Enjoy!

*NOTE:Author believes in being frugal and routinely skimps on extracts. If you're using "the good stuff," you might want to reduce the amount by half or better. Please, no lectures. or, apparently,

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