The bigger your thumb, the better

Strawberry Thumbprints: Fruity jam loves a buttery cookie.

The title of this post is a tad misleading: I use a 1/2 teaspoon measure, not my thumb, to form the wells in my Strawberry Thumbprints. The choice is yours. I started out using my thumb — it did a fine job — but I like the uniformity achieved with a measuring spoon.
Anyway, thumb ramblings aside, you may have picked up on the fact that this is Love & Scraps’ Cookie of the Week, late as usual but still lovable. 
Strawberry Thumbprints are one of my all-time favorites: buttery cookie dough with a splash of citrus is the perfect complement to a fruity filling. I was in the mood for strawberry this go-round, but raspberry is also delicious in this cookie. Around the holidays, I like to add ground nuts to the dough. But I’ll tell you more about that, well … around the holidays.
Strawberry Thumbprints
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (optional, but it makes a huge difference — be sure it is finely grated)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, use 1/4 teaspoon salt)
for filling, thoroughly mix the following two ingredients:
1/3 cup strawberry jam
1 tablespoon orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
In small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder). Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add vanilla, 1 tablespoon OJ, orange zest (if using) and egg yolks, and mix until incorporated.
Stir in dry ingredients a cup or so at a time. Do not over-mix dough.
Pinch off 1-inch nuggets of dough and gently shape into balls between the palms of your hands. Evenly space balls on prepared cookie sheets, 12 to a sheet.
Using your clean thumb OR a 1/2-teaspoon measure, form a well in the center of each ball. (Don’t get too crazy. You don’t want to press down too hard and end up touching bottom or with crack-riddled cookies [you know, like some of mine].)
Fill each well with about 1/4 teaspoon of jam mixture.
Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, rotating trays at about the 9-minute mark.
Cool cookies on wire racks.
Eat ’em up.