Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

I wanted something juicy. So I made grapefruit-ginger bars, hoping for a smooth, tangy, filling that would be bursting with flavor and make me pucker up in delight. But, as you can see, there are no grapefruit-ginger bars pictured here – they just didn’t quite come out right. Option number 2? Jam. And cookies.

Snowstorm // Grapefruit Jam and Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Snowstorm // Grapefruit Jam and Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

These cute little thumbprint cookies more than made up for the failure of the grapefruit bars. The buttery shortbread crust has just enough ginger to alert you to its presence without overwhelming the flavor, and the grapefruit jam is lip-puckeringly tart, without any trace of bitterness. If you’re pressed for time though, or just don’t like schmaltzy heart-shaped things, they’ll be just as tasty in the standard circular form. I have plenty of jam leftover, and I’m most excited to try it out on scones. There’s just nothing like a scone with tart jam and thick cream. But until I get around to making scones, I’ll be trying to restrain myself from eating the rest of these cookies in a sitting. They’re really that good.

Snowstorm // Grapefruit Jam and Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 24 cookies.

  • 1 1/2 stick salted butter, well-softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 c. grapefruit jam (recipe below)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and ginger until combined. Add to the butter mixture and beat until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.
  3. Pinch off small pieces of the dough and roll into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter – you should get about 48 balls in total. Place the balls together in pairs on a baking sheet so that they’re touching (if it helps you envision this, they will look kind of like butt cheeks). Press your thumb into each ball at an angle so that your thumbprints make a rough heart shape. Pinch the bottoms of the two balls together to complete the bottom of the heart, then press the thumbprint a little deeper. The whole process is kind of like making a clay pinch pot. Fill each heart indentation with jam (don’t overfill or it may spill out during baking). Stick the baking sheet and cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes, then place directly in the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove with a spatula to a cooling rack.

Grapefruit Jam

Makes one 1/2-pint jar.

  • 3 large red grapefruits
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  1. Cut the peel off the grapefruits, completely removing all of the white pith. Squeeze the peels out over a large saucepan to catch the juice. Supreme (remove the segments from the membranes) the peeled grapefruits – my favorite way to do this is simply to peel the fruit away from the membrane using my fingers, but some people prefer to use a knife to cut between sections. Remove all seeds and set aside. Place the grapefruit segments and any juice in the saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Place the reserved seeds in a small cloth bag designed for cooking and tie-off – the seeds will add additional pectin to the jam.
  2. Bring the grapefruit to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the jam reaches 220°F and  passes the plate test/sheet test. Remove from heat and ladle into your storage container (if plastic, let jam cool slightly first). I didn’t can this batch since I was only making one jar, but if making a larger batch follow canning instructions on Food in Jars.

Snowstorm // Grapefruit Jam and Grapefruit-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

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