James Carrier

From jam-filled thumbprints to sugar-dusted twists, these cookies can be molded from plain dough into pretty shapes.

Sunset  – July 24, 2006

Whether you’re rolling dough into balls for sugar cookies, using your thumb to indent jam-filled thumbprints, or crafting more elaborate cookies filled with fruit or nut mixtures, all of the cookies in this chapter are coaxed into shape with your hands before baking. Here you’ll find a wide variety of appealing cookies, from quick classics like snickerdoodles to festive cranberry-filled rugelach.

Helpful hints:

• If your kitchen is warm, you may need to chill the dough longer than the recipe suggests.

• If the dough becomes sticky as you work, chill it until firm but still pliable.

• Lightly flour your hands and your work surface while shaping cookies.

• Line baking sheets with cooking parchment to make it easier to remove delicate cookies.

• To ensure that the cookies hold their shape, make sure the sheets are cool before baking the next batch of cookie dough. If you need to cool sheets off quickly, hold them under cold running water; dry well before using.


Oatmeal Thumbprints

Chocolate Thumbprints

Nutmeg Sugar Cookies

Peanut Butter Graham Cookies


Brown Butter Sandies

Apricot Buttons

Soft Ginger Cookies

Mint Chippers

Orange-Coconut Crisps

Chinese Almond Cookies

Peanut-Chocolate Macaroons

Zinfandel Port Cookies

Pine Nut Bonbons

Spritsar (Spritz or Wreath Cookies)

Sandbakelser (Sand Tarts)

Kringlor (Twists)

Cranberry Rugelach

Peanut Blossoms

Walnut-Lemon Packets

Napoleon’s Hats


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