I love an elevated twist on a classic cookie favorite. These delicately-flavoured cardamom fig thumbprint cookies are just different enough to be interesting without making any “plain cookie” people too nervous. 🙂
I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a classic thumbprint cookie for some reason. As far as cookies go, I just think they’re fun and cheerful and great for any season or occasion. I thought it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to make something a little more interesting by subbing in a different type of preserve rather than using something traditional like raspberry jam and I was so happy with how these cardamom fig thumbprint cookies turned out. Honestly, they sound like they aren’t too exciting, but I find myself craving them pretty often now. For the record, I did make a strawberry version as well, just to be sure they would appeal to everyone, but the fig version turned out to be very approachable and just un-weird enough that the kids were willing to try them. The cardamom worked beautifully with both jam varieties. Cardamom is such a delicate flavour, but adds the perfect bit of effervescence to the cookie dough. Here’s how to make these classic-with-a-twist cookies!
Ingredients Needed for the Cardamom Fig Cookies
- Fig jam or preserves
- Ground cardamom
- Baking soda
- Butter (or plant-based substitute)
- An egg (or plant-based substitute)
- Confectioner’s sugar (just a bit for dusting)
I use plant-based ingredients for my baking, so that’s what I used for these cookies, but this recipe is developed to make sure that you can substitute traditional ingredients in if that’s what you have and like to use. I put together a basic guide to plant-based baking recently if you’re interested in learning more about using plant-based substitutes in baking and which ones specifically I’ve found work best for me.
I used the Bonne Maman brand of fig jam and it worked beautifully. I ended up using about half the jar, which is perfect because I’ve never tried fig jam before, but now I want to put it on everything, so I’m glad to have some leftover.
Method for Making the Thumbprint Cookies
I have to admit that my impression has always been that these cookies were a bit more complicated to make than they really are. The problem was that I never really thought about it, but they always look so pretty on a cookie tray, so I kind of dismissed them as being too time consuming for me. When I actually thought about what it would take, I realized they’re actually super simple.
To make the cookies, I mixed the dough up in my stand mixer just like any other dough. This cookie dough is fairly soft but easy to work with, which is important to me when I’m making a cookie with an additional step like these ones. If they’re too finicky, I’ll probably just not make them again.
I scooped out the dough using a medium cookie scoop and rolled each amount of dough into a uniform ball before placing it on a silpat-lined cookie sheet. To make the “thumbprint” in each cookie, I just used the handle of a wooden spoon. I scooped out about half the jar of fig jam into a small dish to prevent cross-contamination with the jam in the jar, then added about half a teaspoon of jam to each thumbprint.
These cookies don’t spread a whole lot during baking, so it’s just fine if you’re feeling impatient and want to bake them right away, but chilling them for about 30 minutes first before baking will make them spread a little less, so that’s my preference if I’m trying to make the cookies as visually pleasing as possible.
I added a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar to the top of each cookie, just because I thought it was a nice touch, but feel free to leave that step out if you’d rather.
Here’s the full printable recipe!
I love an elevated twist on a classic cookie favorite. These delicately-flavoured cardamom fig thumbprint cookies are just different enough to be interesting without making any "plain cookie" people too nervous. 🙂
- 1 tsp Ground cardamom
- 2 cups Flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Butter softened
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tbsp Prepared plant-based egg substitute or 1 traditional egg
- 4 tbsp Confectioner's sugar for dusting, optional
- 1 jar Fig jam
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the first amount of sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the egg substitute and vanilla and continue mixing until everything is combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom, and mix to distribute all ingredients evenly. With the mixer running on low, add in the flour mixture a little at a time and continue mixing until a smooth dough comes together.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough out and roll it into a smooth ball. Place on a silpat-lined cookie sheet. Continue scooping and rolling until your baking sheet is filled. Press your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon down into the centre of each cookie. Fill the thumbprint in each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam. Chill the cookies for about 30 minutes, if desired, to prevent spreading, or bake immediately.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes at 350°, rotating the trays halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cookies will be very soft after baking, but will firm up as they cool. When the cookies are fully cooled, sprinkle with the confectioner's sugar.
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Vanilla Lavender Shortbread Cookies
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Plant-Based Pecan Snowball Cookies
- The Creek Line House Food and Recipe Archives
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.