What are fingerprint cookies?

Fingerprint cookies are usually filled with jam.

Fingerprint cookies (sometimes spelled fingerprint) are delicious molded and filled cookies with origins that raise some controversy. Some people attribute their invention to the Jews of Eastern Europe, and others suggest that Poland was the first to produce the cookies. No matter who invented them, they are now enjoyed in many parts of the world and can be fun to bake at home.

Fingerprint cookies are made by pressing the center of the unbaked cookie with your thumb.

Fingerprint cookie recipes vary considerably. Most have a butter base, but may contain nuts, be made with brown sugar instead of white sugar, and some are chocolate. Most commonly, these cookies are filled with different types of jam, but the fillings are also numerous. Instead of jam, they can have a chocolate kiss in the center, toffee or pumpkin butter. It really depends on the recipe and personal preference.

Once the digitally printed cookie dough is made, the cookies are shaped by being rolled into small balls. These can be dipped in sugar or dipped in eggs and rolled in walnuts. Once the cookies are placed on a baking sheet, bakers press down the center with their thumbs, or a spoon if preferred, to create a deep hole in the cookie. This is then filled with ingredients of your choice.

As bakers will discover, not all fingerprint cookie recipes are created equal. Some have the unfortunate habit of spreading out and others keep their shape as they bake. It’s also important to make sure the cavity in each cookie is really big enough to accommodate a small amount of filling. Jelly fillings are particularly prone to leaking down the sides of the cookie if too much jelly is placed in the pit or if the pit is not deep enough.

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To prevent this leakage, some fingerprint cookies are filled after being baked, and this can create a prettier cookie. After the cookies are baked, bakers can use the tip of a wooden spoon to flatten the cookie or strengthen it. This would mean making sure not to overbake the cookies. If they are crispy when they come out of the oven, raising the pit with a spoon will likely result in cracked cookies.

While jelly may be one of the most popular fillings for fingerprint cookies, they can also contain multiple toppings. Toppings or things like chocolate ganache are a good choice when filling is added after baking. Cookies generally must be fully cooled before being filled.

Due to the mixing, forming, filling and baking of these cookies, some people find them labor intensive. However, the amount of steps involved in creating them can be a lot of fun for kids. As with peanut butter cookies which tend to be popular treats for kids, kids can appreciate the various steps it takes to create fingerprint cookies. They may especially enjoy using their thumbs to poke wells for a delicious filling.

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