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Back when my oldest daughter was a child in her elementary school years, my mother enjoyed making these cookies whenever Megan would come over to visit.  Mom seemed to enjoy that time as much as Megan did.  I would always get to sample the cookies when I would arrive to pick Megan up, and Mom would send the cookies (or maybe a good portion of them) home with us.  I remember really liking them, and one day I asked Mom for the recipe.  She copied it and gave me the original she had written, and I finally got around to making them after all this time!  I tried to follow the recipe as best I could, since the paper it is written on in my Mother’s hand is old and worn and the ink is blotched in places.

Here is Mom’s recipe (I don’t know where she got it from), followed by a few notes and things to consider.

MOM’S THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups Butter Flavored Crisco
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-3/4 cups chopped nuts
  • 2/3 cup fruit preserves
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  

Beat Crisco and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine oats, flour, soda and salt.  Mix well.  Add to Crisco mixture.

Form 1-inch balls.  Roll in nuts.  

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Press centers with thumb.  Fill with preserves.

Bake 12-15 minutes until light golden brown.  Remove to wire rack.  Cool completely.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen.

Notes:

If the dough is too gooey (mine was) refrigerate it for a while and it will be much easier to manage.

I didn’t have Butter Flavored Crisco on hand, so I used 1 cup of butter and 1/2 cup soft margarine instead of the Crisco in the cookies pictured above.  Since my cookies did not spread out as much as Mom’s did, I’m thinking it is probably best to go with the Crisco if you have it.

Just my taste, but I felt like I would like the cookies sweeter, so you can try (and I certainly will!) adding another 1/2 cup of brown sugar in addition to the cup already in the recipe.

On that same note, be very liberal with the preserves.  I didn’t even measure it, but instead used it right out of the jar.  The preserves gives these cookies their absolute wonderfulness! 

The baking soda was an afterthought added by my mother to the original recipe she was using.  I am guessing they may spread out more cookie-like without it.  As it was, I had to flatten the dough a little before I made the thumbprint so these cookies wouldn’t end up being like round balls.

The walnuts I used in this recipe were way to overpowering in this cookie (I used a combination of pecans and walnuts).  Walnuts were practically all we could taste!  I would suggest using pecans or some other milder nut.

Next time around I may mix the nuts in with the dough.  Call me lazy, but I got tired of rolling each cookie ball in the nuts and getting the same result as I probably would have just mixing the nuts in.

We liked my first attempt at making these, and City Boy and I ate them up!  With a few changes I am betting I will be a pro at making these exactly like I remember them.  Give them a try yourself and see what you think!