Thumbprint Cookies & A Valentine’s Day Giveaway

I want to be a cynic about Valentine’s Day, I really do. I want to say that it’s a Hallmark holiday solely created to make up for 364 days of neglect. I want to say that it’s the cruelest form of torture for anyone who’s single.

I want to say that for those of us in relationships, it’s yet another day requiring careful consideration in the card department, in my case, perusing through cards of the clever, ironic, anti-establishment variety. (Yet as long as I participate in the latter behavior, regardless of the card’s source, Hallmark still wins. Tragic.)

From those first days of decorating a mailbox for the receipt of Valentines, however, I remember liking Valentine’s Day. It’s a nice reminder that I live a life surrounded by people I love, people who love me.

Furthermore, it’s one of those glorious holidays that encourages the consumption of sweets in larger-than-normal quantities. I’d always go straight for the chocolate in my glittery, Crayola-ed Valentine paper bag mailbox. (I shunned the chalk-candy hearts. Does anyone legitimately enjoy eating them?)

In honor of those exciting days of digging through Valentines, seeking out the best candy and overanalyzing the meaning of the line “Bee Mine” in the card from your crush, I’m doing my very first giveaway.

To enter, comment on this post answering the question: “What’s your best (or worst, if you’re into that) Valentine’s Day memory?” Make sure you leave your first name!

Wednesday night at 9 p.m., I’ll randomly select one lucky commenter as the recipient of either two dozen cookies or two loaves of bread. (Some options are here, here and here. I could also make something completely new. Winner’s choice!) You have until 8:59 p.m. on Wednesday (2/16) to enter.

You’ll also get one additional entry for tweeting the following:

I want to win a sweet treat from @pricharm!

Unfortunately, the giveaway only applies to those of you in the continental United States. I’m still a student, folks. I’ve got bills to pay.

If you’re feeling like doing a bit of baking yourself, these thumbprint cookies are a tasty departure from those traditional Valentine’s Day chocolatey affairs.

Thumbprint Cookies:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod, or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup jam (I used peach, raspberry and mixed berry)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) In another bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking powder and salt.
3) Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie dough baller. Pour sugar in a shallow bowl and roll dough balls in sugar.
4) Place dough balls on baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. (Alternatively, make a heart shape like I did by making a “V” with your pinky finger.) Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam.
5) Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.) Cool cookies on the baking sheets.

32 responses to “Thumbprint Cookies & A Valentine’s Day Giveaway

  1. My new best memory is eating one of your cookies:D

  2. My favorite Valentine’s Day memories are coming out to the kitchen when I was little and finding chocolates and cards from my ma, who let us eat chocolates for breakfast!

  3. Best memory: my SO getting his mom to drive him 20 minutes to my house at 6 a.m., so he could drop off my present before I went to school. It was a candle he’d made, and hidden inside it was a box with a ring (not an engagement ring, mind) in it, which appeared as the candle melted down. The ring matched the necklace that was inside the (handmade) jewelry box he’d given me for Christmas.

    I was 15 and he was 16. I’m not even kidding. That is exactly what happened.

    Worst: One year, my SO gave me a Valentine’s present while I thought we were broken up.

  4. I always loved getting home and opening all the valentines from school! Of course the best memories were from good ole fourth grade. 🙂

  5. Definitely this Valentine’s Day. First time with a significant other and I was spoiled with an indoor picnic and an all organic spread and homemade chocolate covered strawberries. 😀

  6. I loved making those heart-shaped construction paper envelopes in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day in elementary school. We taped them to the front of our desks and then walked around the classroom, depositing our valentines into everyone’s bright red or pink envelopes. I’d read my valentines with my mom when I got home, usually sharing some kind of chocolate.

  7. Hopefully Alex doesn’t read this, but my best Valentines day was with a guy named Sam.
    He made me pancakes for breakfast and later took me to the best dry rub BBQ place in Memphis (Rendezvous:)) I had a full rack and we split a cheese and sausage plate… YUM. Then we went to a Memphis basketball game, where he conveniently had mid-court seats about 8 rows up from the floor. The Tigers won, my tummy was happy, and it was all around a wonderful day!

    I also have an excellent memory of my Valentine’s Day sophomore year when I took this awkward guy to the Vagina Monologues where he was totally shocked and then had a “party” in my suite. However, after about 10 of us were bored and sitting around for a while, we decided to be over it and just go to B-skis (great plan, right). On our way there, we ran into Alex G on the P2P and convinced him to go with us. Thus, that Valentine’s Day was my first time hanging out with my current boyfriend, although I was technically on a date with someone else, who I was actually avoiding due to awkwardness. Success all around.

  8. I think my best Valentine’s day memory is when Mike bought me an entire season of House Hunters. What an awesome Valentine’s gift. haha.

  9. And I tweeted!! I hope I win, ’cause oh boy do I want some cookies.

  10. Worst vday memory is SO measier when i recall my blog post as of earlier…..

    I made individualized couplets for all the kids in my 4th grade class in my quaker middle school. When I saw the couplets (aka “on a scale from 1-10, you reach the top AGAIN AND AGAIN!!”) in the trash, it was (hands down) my WORST valentine’s day!!!

    good entry, meg.

  11. I got engaged on Valentine’s Day back in 1999.

  12. Those cookies look fantastic! I was planning on making those very same cookies, but got voted down in favor of something chocolate.

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  14. When I was in Spain, Dan sent me a sock monkey that he actually made all by himself. Well, I think he got some help from his sister but mostly by himself 🙂 It was absolutely adorable and two years later it still has a home on my be. Although it may not have been my favorite Valentines Day because we were so far apart, it definitely made the cut for favorite V-Day memory.

  15. So my worst: I regularly go on the greeting card holiday rant this time of year. When I was in high school, I actually made a boy go to a fast food joint for dinner. So bad…

    And my best is tie: Wine and cheese tasting while freezing in the grassy area of Coker Arboretum. It was so cold, and we wore many layers and a couple blankets to keep warm. AND. This Valentine’s weekend. Sushi + baking cookies + making crepes for breakfast + chili cook-off & beer + an impromptu homemade dinner last night = Wonderful with a capital W.

    You’re doing such a great job with the blog Meghan!! Keep up the good work!

  16. Those are too cute girl! 😀

  17. My name is Kathleen. The best memory I have is actually the other night at a Valentine’s Dance. So many CUTE guys! 😀

  18. Well, there are many GOOD valentine’s day memories I have, but here’s the worst:

    Once, when I was in fourth grade, I was in a class with about 14 other kids. 9-10 year old students, like myself, just looking for love in this crazy mixed up elementary school of ours (not really… but you get the idea).

    It was Valentine’s day, 1996, and being the overzealous and lovey girl that I was (/am), I didn’t skimp on Valentines. I bought real, grown-up sized cards and wrote individual couplets for each of my classmates. NBD, right, there were only 14 of them? I’m pretty sure they had little lions on the front of the card, and I worked really hard to make sure that my 9yearold handwriting looked its best… In the morning, I was so excited to hand them out, and I made sure to put one in every other students’ box.

    The saddest moment in my Valentine’s Day history is when I saw several of those cards, cards that I’d painstakingly planned, written out, sealed, and labeled, crumbled in the trashcan. It was probably because I didn’t tack on some giant candy, or maybe I just wasn’t very cool with the other kids, but that broke my tiny little heart into a million pieces (imagine the dust created from crushing up an entire box of conversation hearts…)

  19. Well, my birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, so any guy I was ever dating always kind of skimped on the 14th because they would plan something big for the 15th instead. And I was always okay with that.

    This year, though, I’m a single lady, so my best friend and I went out for Valentine’s Day just because we could. It was nice to actually celebrate the holiday this year – and to remember that just because it’s National Date Night doesn’t mean us single girls should stay home. 🙂

  20. I remember being young and having a Valentine card waiting at my place at the table from my parents. And my grandma would send each kid a mini heart of chocolates!

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