2018 will be known as the year of the Christmas tree dilemma. Two years ago when we were spending winters in Florida, I splurged and bought a HUGE 12-foot life-like tree from Frontgate. Even on sale, the price was , but I really wanted a great looking tree. We only had one spot where this tree fit in the house which was a large open hallway. The tree could be enjoyed from most of the rooms, and it was so much larger than our other tree I had to go out and buy a lot more ornaments. The tree comes apart but even in three pieces, the tree was so heavy that my husband and I could barely carry it in and out of the garage.
Well, go forward two years, and we are in our new house, and I am decorating for our first Christmas in this house. We get my grandson and son-in-law to help carry in the tree, but then we can’t find anywhere that it will fit. Our ceilings are high, so the height of the tree isn’t an issue, but this tree is so full it just doesn’t fit. My husband finally sticks it in the corner of the great room, but for it to stay there, we will have to move all of the furniture which is presently centered on the fireplace. I said it didn’t work and that we needed a new, smaller tree. My husband said we had to keep it because it was only two years old. I knew eventually that I’d get my way, so I said let’s leave it overnight and think about it. The next morning my husband kept looking at our gigantic tree squished into the corner and agreed that we needed a new tree. I ordered a ten-foot slim tree which fits perfectly, but now we have a massive tree in our garage that we have to find a new home for!
The house is now fully decorated, the presents have been purchased and are wrapped and under the tree, and it is now time to begin my holiday baking. Each year I make a few family traditional sweets that I learned to make from my Mother-in-law. I also know that I have to make a couple of cookies I make every year because otherwise, my family will revolt, but each year I also like trying out a few new recipes.
These thumbprint cookies are buttery and subtly flavored with finely chopped fresh rosemary. Orange marmalade is used to fill the centers, creating a really unique cookie. These cookies are not too sweet, and the flavors will appeal to both adults and kids. Although you could choose any flavor of jam, the marmalade pairs perfectly with the rosemary. Because these cookies are not very sweet, I lightly dusted them with powdered sugar to finish them off, but you could skip this step if you prefer. These cookies will keep well up to five days in an airtight container in a cool spot, or I freeze mine and take a few out as needed to fill my cookie tray. One thing I found as I was making these cookies is that if your brand of marmalade has a lot of peel in it, you might want to puree the jam as it makes it easier to fill the cookies cleanly.
Deborah Mele 2018
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter (2 Sticks, at Room Temperature)
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- Orange Marmalade
- Powdered Sugar (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, rosemary, and salt and mix until incorporated and dough comes together in a ball.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared cookie sheet.
- Use the end of a wooden spoon or your index finger to create an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove cookie sheets from oven and if the indentations look shallow, further define them again and fill each with a bit of marmalade.
- Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until jam melts slightly and edges of cookies are lightly golden.
- Cool completely, then lightly dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!