Today’s recipe was inspired by my recent trip to Italy, specifically Florence. Florence was a beautiful, charming city and is the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city was home to masterpieces of art and architecture, including the famous statue of David and the beautiful cathedral of Il Duomo. If you are any art/architecture enthusiast, this is one city you wouldn’t want to miss!
My husband Jacob and I were fortunate enough to spend 2 days in the gorgeous city. We walked around Florence by foot (our feet were so sore by the end of the trip!) so that we wouldn’t miss any of the gems the city had to offer. One of my favorite parts of Florence were the bakeries and pastry shops on every corner. As a foodie, I enjoyed this simple thing Italy had to offer.
These bakeries all had beautiful displays in the windows of cookies, brownies, candies and dozens of other goodies. Every time I passed by these windows I wanted to try something, but I decided I didn’t exactly need to gain 20 pounds on this trip. Needless to say, I took a careful look of everything these shops sold so that I could come home and make the treats myself. I’ll admit, I finally broke down and bought an apricot shortbread cookie that I had been eyeing everyday (which was larger than the size of my hand might I add!). It was the best shortbread cookie I have ever had!
When I got home from Florence I took it upon myself to recreate this cookie. This recipe is slightly altered in size and is commonly known as thumbprint cookies. The shortbread cookies are made of a sweet, sugary cookie filled with a dollop of apricot jelly. So yummy! The apricot jelly can also be replaced with any other flavor if you prefer.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- apricot jam
- Icing Optional:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp half and half or milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer. Cream the ingredients on high speed until well blended. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the egg yolk. Mix in the egg until fully incorporated and then add the vanilla.
Once the wet ingredients are mixed in, add the flour and salt to the mixture. After the dough is completely mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 1/2 hours to allow the dough to set.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Using your hands, roll the cookie dough into balls (the recipe should make around 1 dozen cookies if you use about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie).
Place the cookies in the oven for 3 minutes and then remove from the oven. The dough will now be soft enough to press with your thumb. Using your thumb, make an indentation on the top of each cookie. Fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of jelly, or the amount desired.
Bake the cookies for another 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Allow cookies to cool for 30 minutes before icing.
While the cookies are cooling, you can make the icing. In a small bowl, stir the powdered sugar, half and half and vanilla. If the icing is too thick, add a little more half and half, if it is too runny add more powdered sugar until you reach a desired consistency. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzling the icing over them.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.