Parmesan Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Savoury cookies with a tomato-cherry jam.


Tomato-Cherry Jam
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp minced shallot or onion
1 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup water, plus more if needed
3/4 tsp minced fresh thyme, 
or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt or flaky or coarse 
sea salt

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt or flaky or coarse 
sea salt


Step 1: To make the jam, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until tender and aromatic but not browned, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato, dried cherries, water, thyme and salt and continue cooking until the cherries are plumped and the tomatoes are soft, about ?10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then purée the jam in the food processor, adding a bit more water as needed to achieve a texture ?a bit thinner than apple sauce. Set aside.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Step 3: Combine the flour and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse until the cheese is finely ground and well blended with the flour. Add the butter and cream cheese and pulse just until a cohesive dough forms, scraping down the sides as needed; avoid over mixing.

Step 4: Form the dough into 24 balls about ?1-1/4″ in diameter and set them on the baking sheet about 1″ apart. Press your thumb into the centre of each ball to make an indentation (it’s normal for the edges to crack a bit, but you can gently pinch together any particularly large cracks). Fill each indentation with some of the jam, about 1/2 tsp each.

Step 5: Bake the cookies until firm and nicely browned around the edges, 30-35 minutes. Because this dough is a bit dense, be sure the cookies are thoroughly cooked, beyond just a light golden brown. If you pull them out too soon they may still be a bit underdone in the centre. You can always snag one from the tray and break it in two to check — a snack for ?the cook.

Step 6: Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Arrange the cookies on a platter for serving, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

See more recipes from Cynthia Nims.

Reprinted with permission from Cynthia Nims’ Salty Snacks (2012 Ten Speed Press).