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There’s a little bakery in Richmond, Indiana called Joy Ann’s Cake Shop, it’s been there for years. I actually use to work around the corner from this bakery, which was dangerous; I went there a lot. I couldn’t resist their pecan danish; I still drool when I think about them. Those danish became an obsession with me, and no matter how many times I tried to make them, nothing was even close to the sweet, springy dough, and the sweet glaze on top. The last time I was in Richmond I went to Joy Ann’s just for a danish and they didn’t make any that day, I thought I might burst into tears. For crying out loud didn’t they know I was in town and needed a danish?
Joy Ann’s makes other great bakery treats like creme horns, fruit bars, cakes, donuts, cupcakes, fun shaped cookies and these amazing little Thumbprint Cookies filled with pastel colored icing. Another one of my addictions. So since I couldn’t make those darn danish I knew I could make the thumbprints.
What’s great about these cookies is they are so easy to make and fill. Roll them in nuts, sugar, sprinkles or just leave them plain. You can go wild on the fillings; chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, jams, fruit, and my favorite, a simple powdered sugar icing.
Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner I thought making these cookies with red, pink and white sprinkles and colorful icing sounded like the perfect way to celebrate this day with something really colorful.
Who can resist colorful sprinkles?
These sweet little cookies are super easy to make. Just mix the batter in a bowl with a wooden spoon and the best part is you don’t need to refrigerate the dough. Just mix, roll and bake.
The dough is so easy to work with, just scoop with a teaspoon and make 1″ balls, then roll in the sprinkles.
You have to make little indents in the cookie balls to hold the icing later. I do this by pressing the back of a teaspoon into the dough ball, or your thumb will work great too.
These cookies are ready to bake and when you pull them out of the oven you may have to use the teaspoon again to make the indents deeper.
Valentine's Thumbprint Cookies
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup AP, flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 oz. colored nonpareils
Powdered Sugar Icing
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbls milk
- 1 tbls. white corn syrup
- drops red and pink food coloring gel
Making the Cookie Dough
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and prepare sheet pans with parchment.
- In a large bowl mix the butter, shortening, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until completely mixed.
- Mix in the flour and salt until combined and the dough holds its shape.
- Place the nonpareils in a bowl big enough to roll the dough balls.
- Shape the dough into 1" balls then immediately roll in the nonpareils. The warmth of your hands helps make the dough balls a little soft so the nonpareils will stick better.
- Place the balls 1" apart on the baking sheets then press your thumb into the center of each dough ball.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Then remove from oven to cooling rack.
Powdered Sugar Icing
- Mix the sifted powdered sugar and milk to make a smooth mixture. This icing sets up hard after it sits for a couple of hours.
- Separate the icing into three small bowls. Tint one pink and one red with the food coloring.
- With a small spoon fill each cookie with one of the icings. You can put the icing in a piping bag and pipe into the cookies.
While the cookies are cooling you can make the icing. I like using three colors red, white and pink, but using just one color will make these cookies just as pretty.
Baked and ready to serve to My Valentine.
What a wonderful day, full of sweets, flowers, and love. Wishing you all the best this Valentine’s Day!