Recipe for Romance: Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe for Romance Two champagne glasses against a purple sparkly background with bells and ribbons at their base

Welcome to Recipe for Romance!

Each weekend, I share a snippet of a tale that either takes place in the current month (in this case, September) or is coming out in the current month, and a recipe that either goes with the tale or goes with the month.

Confused yet? Excellent! lol

Let’s get started. I’m sharing a snippet of STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT, book 2 in the Triple Star Ranch series. Henry’s really done with the whole rock star thing and he’s ready to get away. He’s just looking for something real, like homemade thumbprint cookies.

Out now: Star Light, Star Bright

“Mornin’. Would you be willin’ to let me out?” Henry hoped his voice sounded sufficiently friendly and innocent. Yeah, good luck with that.

“And you are, sir?”

“Ah, Henry Bright. I was here with Lariat Records for the release party.” At least that’s what he thought it was.

The guard eyed him narrowly before checking the list he held in his hands. “I see your name here. Where’s your car?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s waitin’ on the others in my party to get their asses out of bed.” He hammed up his Wyoming accent as if he was a big, dumb, good ole boy just making his way in the world. “I needed some fresh air and a walk. No need to wake ’em up just for me.”

The guard snorted. “You said ‘fresh air’? You know this is Tennessee, right?”

Henry laughed. “Yes, sir. I have noticed it’s a bit more muggy here than Wyoming. But it makes for amazin’ sunsets, that’s for sure.”

“You really are Henry Bright, the Kick-ass Cowboy Western star?” The way the guard said it emphasized his western origins.

“Yes, sir. Born and raised on windy high mountains and deep winding canyons.” He gave the guard a lopsided grin.

The guard shot a furtive look around. “Would you, uhm, be willin’ to sign your last CD? I listen to it all the time. I’ll even call you a cab to take you wherever you wanna go.”

Henry raised his eyebrows before he gave a relieved nod. “Sure thing. Bring it here.”

“Thanks a lot.” The guard shot him a dopey grin and hurried back to the shack. “You can sign it to Arnold, please. I’ll just make that call for you.”

Henry blinked. Apparently, his luck hadn’t completely run out. You just never can tell who’s a fan.

Gluten-free thumbprint cookies

Thumbprint cookies are a common American treat that I’ve seen since I was a kid. They’re basically shortbread cookies with an extra zing of sweet jam (or tart if you’re so inclined).


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 3/4 cup jam, any kind
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


1. Beat butter and sugar on high speed for about three minutes. Add eggs* and vanilla to butter mixture and mix until blended.
*If you are using the nut option, separate eggs into yolks and whites, saving the whites to ‘glue’ the nuts to the outside of the cookies. Reduce the flour by 1/2 cup.

2. Add flour and salt to the butter mixture and mix until just combined but no powder is left.

3. Chill the dough in the fridge uncovered for about 30 minutes until stiff.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (177 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Roll the dough into ~1″ balls (about a Tbsp of dough) and place them on the parchment lined sheets spaced about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.**
** If using nuts, whisk the egg whites until frothy and dip the dough balls into the froth. Then roll them in the chopped nuts until covered.

6. Press down gently on each ball with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Fill the well with about 1/2 tsp of jam.

7. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

One Reply to “Recipe for Romance: Thumbprint Cookies”

  1. Those cookies make me think of my grandma who taught me to make them.

    Love the snippet, he sounds like an interesting guy

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