Cream Cheese Thumbprints

Thumbprint cookies are the cupcakes of the cookie world. Here, the velvety filling lends each small cookie bite all the richness, sweetness, and smoothness of a homemade cream cheese frosting. Being slightly larger than a quarter, it was very easy to eat two of these at a time and see the cookie supply dwindle magically. Best enjoyed after a spell in the refrigerator, this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook is a cookie that is just different enough from the old drop cookie routine. But the delicious and familiar flavors of vanilla, cream cheese, and buttery shortbread make these cookies an instant classic.

Start with some softened cream cheese to make the filling.

Sugar, a bit of salt, an egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla extract get you here. Keep in mind that Martha’s recipe doesn’t say to use room temperature sour cream, but I think if you wait for the sour cream to reach room temperature, it prevents this mixture from getting a little curdled, as mine looks. Cookies still turned out divine though! Put the filling in a bowl and refrigerate while you make the cookie.

Starting with a clean bowl of course! One day, I will splurge on a second bowl (preferably glass)… after I splurge on a handheld mixer, a larger food processor, and my graduate school tuition.

Cream butter and sugar: standard cookie procedure. You can definitely tell that these cookies are going to be so wonderfully crumbly already.

Another egg yolk.

Add the flour in 2-3 stages so the mixer doesn’t spew flour all over your kitchen like volcanic ash.

And check out that dough! If you decide you want drop cookies at this point, throw in some chocolate chips, nuts, and M&Ms. My feelings won’t get hurt. At least not permanently…

Roll the dough into little balls…

… and use the back end of a wooden ladle to make nice uniform, impressions. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then take the cookies out and make the impressions again. Bake for another 6-7 minutes. Once cooled, you’re going to add the refrigerated filling and then bake the cookies one final time for 6-7 minutes.

I think because of the baking procedure, the cookie part stays crumbly, yet firm while the cream cheese bakes until just barely set, just like the best cheesecake. Check out that cream cheese lava action in the back…

My cream cheese thumbprint runneth over…

Stephen and I enjoyed these cookies all throughout the week and my coworkers thought they were wonderful as well. Add a little cream cheese to your day!

Cream Cheese Thumbprints (from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream (this should be at room temperature probably…)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
Oven should be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake cookies without filling for 10 minutes. Take them out, make the indentations with a wooden ladle. Bake again for 6-7 minutes. Add filling. Bake one more time for 6-7 minutes.
Eat. Enjoy.
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About kraftedbykelly
I'm a California girl living in Durham, North Carolina. I like to focus on baking from scratch, student-friendly cooking, and both high and low dining.

One Response to Cream Cheese Thumbprints

  1. ablecookgirl says:

    I love your site and will try some of the recipes.

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