Thumbprint cookies, sweet, buttery, and graced with a slip of jam, have always been a favorite of mine. But, as I got older and had a family of my own, I wanted to make something better, a touch more wholesome, more flavorful. I started baking a healthier version, more nourishing, and richer in flavor: Spelt Thumbprint Cookies.
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Classic thumbprint cookies rely on white flour for their delicate crumb, but whole grain flours provide a deeper and richer flavor. Whole grain flours are also coarser, and I'm partial to the whole grain organic spelt flour. It's has a lovely soft texture that works well in pastries like cookies, and it also has a brilliantly fresh flavor that, when paired with brown sesame seeds, works really well to deliver a Christmas cookie that isn't just a sweet treat. It has depth, too.
How to Make Spelt Thumbprint Cookies
You start with whole grain spelt flour and then enrich the dough with real butter, egg yolks, and sour cream before spiking it with nutmeg and the lightest slip of spiced rum for good measure. You then roll the dough in the palm of your hand to form a little ball and then roll it in sesame seeds which give the cookies a pleasant crunch and a nice, nutty flavor. Then you’ll press a little indent into each cookie, just enough to hold a teaspoon of jam.
To prevent the cookie dough from spreading, you’ll want to toss the prepared cookies in the freezer before you fill and bake them. Traditionally, you’d fill them with raspberry jam, but I’m partial to spiced plum jam my husband makes in the summer when the local orchards are dripping with fruit.
After you bake them and allow them to cool on racks, you can sprinkle them with powdered sugar or serve them as is. They’ll keep about two weeks in an airtight container.