Christmas Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies will always remind me of Christmas. My Mom made these cookies every year and we usually left one or two on a plate for Santa on Christmas Eve. My mom was born and raised in Georgia and when visiting her childhood home we’d always pick pecans off the ground under her Mom’s pecan trees. We ate a lot of pecans as kids.
Naturally, Mom topped some of these thumbprint cookies with pecan halves and some with strawberry jam. This recipe would be a great way to show off homemade jams and jellies that you’ve been gifted or made from fresh berries. Please don’t overbake! These cookies look underbaked when done.

One cup softened butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
One large egg yolk
Scant 2 cups flour

strawberry and raspberry jam
Pecan halves or other nuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare ungreased cookie sheets.

Cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add egg yolk and mix. Mix in almond extract and then add flour about 1/2 cup at a time until combined.

Roll into balls about 1 1/2 inches around. Place on cookie sheet. Press an indentation into the center with your thumb. Add a topping of jam, jelly, or nut.

Bake about 15 minutes. Remove at the first sign of the edges lightly browning. These cookies look underbaked when done but try not to overcook or they will be dry and crumbly.