Old Fashioned Christmas Cookies: Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

ImageWe are tradition bound in our family, I admit it. I’d be likely to waver on some things, but Emma won’t let me. So every year, I make the same Christmas cookies, and they are for us traditional simply because I’ve always made them.

These poppyseed thumbprint cookies are one of the traditional Christmas cookies I bake. They aren’t technically old-fashioned cookies, because I found the start of this recipe in a local newspaper 25 years ago. But they meet my criteria for an old-fashioned recipe because they are simple and use common ingredients. And I made them a Christmas cookie because they fit that criteria too: They are a little fancier than you’d make for the cookie jar during the rest of the year. They use a fancy ingredient you’d likely only splurge on at Christmas time. And they have orange juice and zest, another Christmas-y flavor. (Plus if you go the Grand Marnier route, they are even fancier!)

I hope you’ll make them and enjoy them and they’ll become an old-fashioned traditional Christmas cookie for your family too!

Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies
(makes 2 dozen)

  • ½ c salted butter, softened
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T orange juice or Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 2 T poppyseeds
  • 2 t finely grated orange peel
  • ¼ c red currant jelly

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and orange juice (or Grand Marnier). Gradually add the flour, and mix until well blended. Add the poppyseeds and orange peel and mix until just blended.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. (You should have 24 cookies.) Use your thumb to make an indentation in center of each cookie. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon of red currant jelly into each indentation, making sure the jelly looks pretty because it will stay in that shape.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Leave on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes after you pull it out of the oven. Then move to rack to cool.

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