These Amish thimble cookies remind me vaguely of the very first thing I ever baked. I was living in the United Arab Emirates at the time (regulars of my email newsletter know that I once lived there as a child when the company my Dad worked for transferred us all over there). I remember, I think it was kindergarten, the teacher having all of us children make a cookie called "jam tarts." They were delicious. I was going to a British school, and that was a favorite cookie of the teacher's.
🧵 The Amish and Thimbles
But, for the Amish, where sewing and quilting have a rich history, thimbles are much more than a cookie companion.
Thimbles are a valuable tool for hand sewing, and the Amish are known for their skill in this area. Thimbles protect the fingertips from being pricked by needles, and they can also help to improve the accuracy of stitching. Amish women and men alike use thimbles when they are sewing by hand. They are especially important for quilting, which is a popular Amish craft.
Of course, not everyone uses thimbles, but they are generally considered to be a practical and necessary tool for sewing. Amish people value simplicity and practicality, and thimbles fit well into this mindset. They are a relatively inexpensive tool that can help to prevent injuries and improve the quality of sewing.
In addition to being practical, thimbles can also be seen as a symbol of Amish craftsmanship. Amish people take pride in their work, and they use high-quality tools and materials. Thimbles are a part of this tradition, and they help to ensure that Amish sewing is both beautiful and durable.
❓ Thimbles and Cookies?
So, fast-forward to today, and we are talking about Amish thimble cookies, which a perfect, festive holiday cookie! These are still popular, especially among Amish old-timers. The actual use of a thimble has tended to fall out of favor, but some old-timers still do. Now these cookies are going to be great however you make them but with a dollop of homemade jam, wow, these cookies will sing.
📋 Step-By-Step Amish Thimble Cookies
I'd love to try making these and filling them with blueberry filling, or perhaps even pear. Apricot would be another delicious filling to try, and so would raspberry jam. But use your imagination to include apple, grape, or strawberry. Any of these would taste great baked up inside the cookie dough.
You can add your own twists to the cookies, like adding some chopped nuts to the dough. Walnuts, almonds, or pecans would probably be what I'd use.
If you want to have a cookie that isn't too sweet, this is a good choice. They're called thimble cookies because Amish women will use a thimble to make the tiny holes or an indent in the center for filling with jam, but if you don't have a thimble, the back of a small spoon or your thumb works. That is why some people call these cookies thumbprints or thumbprint cookies.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper before baking. And when out of the oven let them cool on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
🍪More Amish Christmas Cookies
Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
🖨️Printer-Friendly Amish Thimble Cookies
Amish Thimble Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup jam any flavor
- Cream the butter and sugar until well blended in a largebowl.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Work in the flour until afirm dough forms.
- If the dough seems too sticky, let it chill for a coupleof hours in the refrigerator.
- Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches aparton ungreased baking sheets.
- Use a clean thimble to press a hole in each one.
- Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the jam begins to bubble, about 25 minutes.
- These cookies will stay fresh for up to 5 days.