Jam and Mascarpone Thumbprint Cookies

Good morning friends! For once it’s not sweat-dripping-down-my-back hot outside at 8am in the nation’s capital. I am eternally grateful…thank you Mother Nature.

While we experience a brief reprieve from extreme heat and humidity, I thought I’d share an easy thumbprint cookie recipe.

I bought Alice WatersThe Art of Simple Food awhile go – they have it at Kramer Books in Dupont Circle (where you can also get a great cup of coffee at the bar). It’s become my go-to cookbook after a market run where I ended up buying a bunch of stuff and I have no clue what to make out of it. It’s also my “I’m tired and don’t want to cook” cookbook. Why? Because it’s all about…um…simple food. Take the most basic, in-season ingredients, bring out their natural flavors and eat. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m enjoying her cookbook but, being more of a baker type, I was looking for a recipe of the carbohydrate variety. Enter: tart dough.

Ok. The recipe I’d been using for tart dough was really the bane of my baker experience. I always talk about trusting the recipe. Well, I just did not trust this recipe. Even though everything usually works out just fine…I just didn’t feel like this dough was gonna be my go-to recipe.

Alice Waters’ tart dough intrigued me because it was actually a dough. More solid than paste. It’s roll-able, not shmear-able. Also, for being a sweet tart dough, it’s got a little hint of salty that, I feel, adds an unexpected edge to your treats. When I read a footnote at the end of the recipe saying I could use the dough for thumbprint cookies, all was settled.

I had strawberry rhubarb jam from The Copper Pot Food Company and some mascarpone cheese which sounded like a pretty good combo to me (and it was)! You could use any type of jam…but I wouldn’t recommend any kind of cheese :) If you like your mascarpone cheese a little sweeter, add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until it’s where you want it to be. Experiment!

These are decadent, rich little cookies and I bet they’d go well with a little coffee or tea after a big meal or dinner party.


Sweet Tart Dough (Pate Sucree) Thumbprint Cookies

Adapted from Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food

Beat together until creamy:

8tbs unsalted butter

1/3c sugar

Add and mix until completely combined:

1/4tsp salt

1/4tsp vanilla extract

1 egg yolk


1 ¼c all-purpose unbleached flour

Mix well, stirring and folding until there are no dry patches. Chill for at least four hours or overnight until firm.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about an inch apart. Press your thumb into the top of each cookie to make a depression. Bake them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes, remove from the oven.

Make sure you have:

A jar of any fruit jam you like

1/2 a small tub of mascarpone cheese, about 1/2 cup

1-2tbsp sugar for mascarpone, optional

Fill the depressions with the mascarpone mixture first and then the strawberry rhubarb jam. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the bottom edges.

7 thoughts on “Jam and Mascarpone Thumbprint Cookies

  1. I love it when baking recipes are simple and won’t take a whole day to execute. Definitely going to try this!

  2. Yeah, I also go back and fourth between trusting the recipe and trusting my instincts. Part of it is the source – like, if it’s an Alice Waters recipe, I’m going to trust it – at least the first time I use it. But if it’s from Epicurious or All Recipes and it starts looking weird – well, then I’m going with my own instincts.

    Those cookies look marvelous! I feel like people never make thumbprint cookies anymore and i have no idea why – they’re so delicious and simple and pretty.

  3. These do look and sound wonderful. And I agree with Jenna, it seems like thumbprint cookies are such a thing of the past and I’m not sure why. Growing up in the south, someone would always make them for church dinners, baby and bridal showers, Ladies’ lunches, etc. So in addition to being so pretty and so delicious, they bring back memories of such gracious, genteel times and places.

  4. Pingback: It’s ok… « One Bite At A Time

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