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Bake a Gift from the Heart

Martha White®Nashville, TN – The possibilities for a special gift from your kitchen are endless – a great pound cake, a loaf of banana bread, special cinnamon rolls or even a homemade pecan pie.

“Anything you bake from a treasured family recipe will have special meaning as a gift to a friend,” said the Martha White® baking expert Linda Carman. “However, practically speaking, cookies are one of the best choices for gift giving.”


Cookies are a universal favorite. They can be packed in a beautiful tin or other festive container, are easy to make, and many varieties will maintain their quality for several days without refrigeration. A wide variety of cookies will look beautiful on a platter, but cookies retain their flavor and characteristic textures better if stored separately.

Rather than go for a decadent cookie, consider reviving a simpler childhood favorite this year. Fun-to-make Thumbprints are a perfect example. Adorned with jewel-toned jam centers, they will make a beautiful gift and bring back cherished holiday memories.

If you feel the need to embellish them a little more for the holidays, consider different variations which feature the addition of nuts to the cookie dough and topped with complementary jam flavors – like almond cookies with cherry jam.

For other holiday recipes that would be perfect for gifts, visit www.marthawhite.com.



1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups Martha White® All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup Smucker’s® Jam or Preserves, such as strawberry, raspberry or apricot


1. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Whisk flour and baking powder in large bowl. Beat into butter mixture on low speed until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 375° F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Make a deep indentation in center of each ball with finger or tip of wooden spoon. (Center will spread open as cookies bake.)

3. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Fill center of each cookie 1/4 teaspoon jam. Return to oven. Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown, being careful not to burn jam. Cool on wire racks.

3 1/2 dozen cookies

Delicious Thumbprint Variations

Cherry Almond Thumbprints: Prepare cookie dough as directed, except stir 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds in with flour mixture. Fill cookies with cherry preserves.

Peach Pecan Thumbprints: Prepare cookie dough as directed above, except stir 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans in with flour mixture. Fill cookies with peach preserves.

Apricot Walnut Thumbprints: Prepare cookie dough as directed, except stir 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts in with flour mixture. Fill cookies with apricot preserves.

Smucker’s is a registered trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company


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