I always make sure that my kitchen is stocked with extra sticks of real butter, just in case I feel the desire to make some pastry dough from scratch or these ridiculously buttery jam-filled thumbprint cookies. These cookies take a little less time (especially with the clean up!) than baking a pie, but bring you just as much buttery joy to share with your closest friends and family. Thumbprint Jammers =  A sure thing.

And right now, I think your weekend needs these.



From love & olive oil

Recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, more if you make them smaller.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (or so) assorted jam


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  5. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated and dough forms together in a ball.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Create a deep pocket or indentation using your thumb, fingers or back of a small spoon–these will definitely puff up.
  7. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are just barely golden. Remove baking sheet from oven. The indentations will appear shallow, so you will need to further define them with the back of a spoon (or your fingers if you’ve lost feeling in your finger tips from other cooking adventures :D).
  8. Then fill each with approximately ½ teaspoon jam.
  9. Bake for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until jam melts slightly and edges of cookies are lightly golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
Every time I make these, I burn the roof of my mouth because I have no patience to wait for them to cool. They are also a great way to fill your home with the smell of buttery goodness–no need to spend $28 on that candle from Anthro. This is so much more worth it.
Three dozen are packed and ready to hit the road for my #framily in BucksCo.
Peace, Love, & Jammers.

Ghosts of Recipes Past: Your Last Minute Recipe Gift Guide

Looking for a few things to whip up before tomorrow’s festivities? Here’s a quick mini recipe gift guide for all those last minute gifts or “What the heck am I going to bring!?” moments.


Don’t worry. I gotcho’ back.

For your super sweet bestie: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

For those special Little Ones in your life–or if you’re looking for something to keep those L.O.’s busy in the kitchen: DG’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheerios Bars

For your spicy and fun neighbors: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

For your healthy family brunch: Almost No-Fat Banana Bread

For your “eff-it-let’s-eat-bacon-and-donuts-because-we’re-awesome” family brunch: Mini Maple Bacon Bars

For the perfect present topper: Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

For anyone (but actually more or yourself because these cookies are seriously life changing): Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

For your night cap and dessert hour with friends: Crispy Apple Panko Rings

For your in-laws or S.O.’s family: Chewy Ginger Cookies

For all those leftover gingersnaps: Pearberry Gingersnap Crumble

For the morning after Christmas: Bacon, Gruyere and Green Onion Scones 

Or if everyone sleeps in later and you have a bit more time: Ann Sather’s Cinnamon Rolls

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from this hungry table to yours.


Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

This time every year, I just want to cook and eat and bake and share. It really is a great combination for me…and well, all those who I visit with during the holidays. Usually, I pick one solid recipe I know has never let me down, and then I try a new challenge recipe–something inspired or intriguing that I saw somewhere else. So when I came across Spoon Fork Bacon’s “Mexican Chocolate Earthquake Cookies,” I instantly replied, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”

But this task also included other challenges.

A couple of weeks ago, our lightbulbs blew out in the kitchen. With the busy schedules at work and back to back holiday gatherings, I didn’t have much time to fuss over it and we made do with the little cooking that was going on in the kitchen. So this weekend I was determined to check some things off my “To Do” list. However, I’m thinking that I may need to start tagging certain items as “must be taller than 5'1 to complete.” Ugh. I tried everything just short of a Cirque du Soleil performance to get enough height to change the bulbs, but once I realized my life (and the future of these cookies) were at risk, I quickly climbed down.

Time to get creative….and maybe a little romantic.

Who knew that baking by candlelight could be such a beautiful process?! 




Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon’s “Mexican Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

Recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Cookie Batter

  • 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (68% or higher), broken into small pieces
  • 4 ounces good quality Mexican Chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup black coffee
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (any chile powder will be just fine)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Sugar Coating

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  1. In a double boiler over medium heat melt chocolates and butter together until smooth. Stir in coffee, cinnamon, cayenne, and chile powder and stir until fully incorporated. Set aside and allow chocolate mixture to cool slightly.
  2. While chocolate mixture melts, combine almond meal, flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. Place the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer and mix until the mixture has thickened and become a pale yellow color, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. With the motor running, begin pouring the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, in a slow and steady stream (to prevent curdling) until fully incorporated.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap (at this point the mixture will be loose).
  6. Allow mixture to chill for at least 3 hours before using. 
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F.
  8. Using a cookie or ice cream scooper, scoop out 1 tablespoon of the chilled dough and roll into balls. The dough will have a ganache or ice cream-like consistency, so keeping it cold in between baking a rolling batches will be key. It is best to work quickly when rolling the dough into balls using your hands because it will begin to melt.
  9. Quickly roll them in the granulated sugar, followed by the powdered sugar until fully covered and place the on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 ½ inches apart. The cookies will spread but not flatten out completely.
  10. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cookies have spread and the tops have a beautiful cracked effect going on. Allow the cookies to cool for about 1-2 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. They should be slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

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These reminded me of the Wicked Mexican Chocolate Brownies I made up in Boston a few months ago. They packed just as much punch, but these cookies were even prettier than I imagined them to be. Totally worth the 3-hours “chill” time and measuring flour in the flickering candlelight. :)

So what are you waiting for?! Get yo’ spice on.


PS. Oh and the first person to come over and change our lightbulbs gets a fresh batch of these cookies to take home! “Must be taller than 5'5 to attempt.”