A friend gifted me with a jar of leftover homemade lemon curd recently, and I decided to put it to use as a filling for thumbprint cookies. After looking at a few recipes – one of which called for an appalling amount of confectioners’ sugar – I decided to adapt Martha Stewart’s Hazelnut Jam Thumbprints (from Martha Stewart’s Cookies). I just subtracted the hazelnuts and used the lemon curd instead of jam for the filling.
Forgive the extreme yellowness of the photo; my camera is broken and I am relying on Ben’s phone to take pictures. I do like the way he captured the cookies’ reflection in the mixer bowl here, though.
1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
lemon curd (not sure how much; maybe between a quarter- and a half-cup? The recipe doesn’t make many cookies, and I used about a teaspoon or less of lemon curd to fill each one)
Mix butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough for two hours.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and space 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Kitchen novices take note: wax paper is not the same thing as parchment paper. Trust me.) Press your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball. (I found that the cookie tended to fracture/crumble if I did this once I’d placed it on the baking sheet, so I thumbprinted each one with my right thumb while cupping it in my left hand.)
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and re-thumbprint, using a lightly floured wooden spoon, then replace in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes (or less time if they turn golden-brown earlier. Ours only turned slightly less pale).
Let the cookies cool on the sheets on wire racks, then fill each center with a small spoonful of lemon curd. The lemon curd doesn’t harden, so the cookies can’t be layered on top of each other in plastic containers unless you want lemon curd on the tops and bottoms of each.
According to Martha, the recipe should make about two dozen (it made 18 for us), and they keep up to two days, but ours didn’t make it that long. Enjoy!