Cranberry Bliss Thumbprint Cookies were my surprise recipe this year. Super easy to make, and they were outstanding! I didn’t know what to think about making the jam with cranberries, but loved the sweet and tart combo!
Christmas in July Day 20 is here. Can I just say I’m sad that it’s almost over? It’s been a lot of fun sharing all of these ideas with you without all the pressure of the holidays actually being here! Silly as that seems, it is true!
Full disclosure, Christmas in July showed us I am a “wee-bit” obsessed with infusing Cranberry Bliss into as many treats as I can! I know! See how many Cranberry Bliss recipes I posted? What can I say? I love the taste that comes from the mixture of lemon, orange, cranberries, and white chocolate.
How To Make Cranberry Bliss Thumbprint Cookies
Make the Cranberry Jam
Start out by making the cranberry jam center. Combine one bag of frozen cranberries, one half cup of sugar, and one half cup of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 8-18 minutes stirring constantly. The cranberries will start to pop and the sugar water will thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
You have the option to leave the compote/jam rustic with the peels exposed or put the entire mixture in a blender or food processor for a couple of pulses to blend it out. It makes it a smoother and the presentation is really a bit nicer. I have done both and the taste is the same, obviously.
Make the Thumbprint Cookie Dough
Combine the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well. Add in the vanilla extract and continue to mix. Add in the flour and lemon/orange zest to the mix and mix well. Wrap the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
Word of caution, don’t leave the dough in longer as it dries out and hardens.
If you remove the dough from the refrigerator and it feels drier than you think it should be, take a one inch ball of dough at a time and work it in your hands. The heat will soften it.
Form the dough into one inch balls, place them on the cookie sheet and make a thumbprint in the center of the cookie.
Add a small teaspoon of Cranberry Jam to the thumbprint.
Baking the Cranberry Bliss Thumbprint Cookies
Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. Watch them closely and start looking at them about 9 minutes into cooking as each oven is different. You want them to come out golden brown, not burt and hard. Don’t overbake!
Once cooled, heat up a little bit of the Candi Quik melting chocolate and gently drizzle on top and allow to cool.
What other Jams Can I Substitute?
If you want to keep the lemon and orange zest flavoring, use orange marmalade in the center. If you want to double up on lemon zest and take out the orange, use blueberry jam for a delicious Blueberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookie.
Don’t Thumbprint Cookies Normally Have Nuts on the Dough?
A lot of thumbprint cookies have nuts sprinkled on the dough, but the Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks don’t have them, so I excluded them here. Traditionalists should add crushed walnuts.
Other Cranberry Treats
- Cranberry Bliss Truffles
- Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cups
- One Pan Cranberry Chicken
- Apple Cranberry Bourbon Puff Pastry Bites
Cranberry Bliss Thumbprint Cookies
- 12 oz frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Sugar Cookie Thumbprint
- 3 sticks butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3-5 tbsp Candi Quik melting chocolate, melted
Sugar Cookie Thumbprint
- Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and orange zest and mix.
- Add the flour, a little at a time, and mix well.
- Wrap up the dough into a ball or disk in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
- Once the cookies have been in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, remove and working with your hands, roll the dough into balls about 1 inch. If the dough feels dry to the touch, gently work it in your hands for a moment and it will become moist again.
- Place balls on cookie sheet and with your thumb, press a little indentation into the center being careful to not push all the way through.
- Add about 1/2 tsp-1 tsp of cranberry compote to the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until slightly brown. Don't overbake.
- Once cooled, drizzle the white chocolate on top and allow to harden.
- Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in a small 2 qt pan and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-20 minutes until the cranberries have popped.
- Allow to cool and blend in a food processor or blender to make smooth.