These Cranberry Chai Spice Thumbprint Cookies will be a staple for your holiday cookie table. They’re made with blood oranges, cranberries and cinnamon and they’re SO good!
COOKIES for everyone! Because who doesn’t want or need cookies right before a major holiday? Exactly.
Look guys, between you and me, I’m crazy behind on recipes, hence the cookies right now. Granted, thumbprint cookies are a holiday staple in my opinion, but my posting options were pretty limited. I weirdly love how busy I’ve been this month, but it’s left me with little time for recipe development. I spent three full days shooting interiors this month, and that was just the photographing part—I still have a ton of editing to do. I love every minute of it—despite how long it takes, I love editing photos—but I just want you to know why I probably won’t be posting for at least another week or so. ….not that I need an excuse, but I definitely have a decent excuse 😉
So, let’s bask in the glory of these chai spice thumbprint cookies, shall we?
Growing up, my mom would make at least 10 different kinds of Christmas cookies, one of them being thumbprints. But, since my brother and I were such picky eaters (as all kids are at some point I think?), she’d fill them with icing instead of jam. Now that I’m an adult with mature tastebuds, I love “regular” thumbprint cookies, like, a lot. Since I can’t [ever] get enough of blood orange—mostly because of the color—I just had to make chai spice thumbprint cookies with a blood orange and cranberry jam filling for the holidays. I know Thursday is Thanksgiving, but bring on the holiday cookies!
The actual cookie part of this recipe is pretty basic—minus the chai spice part of course—and then the center jam is made with one blood orange, some frozen cranberries and a pinch of cinnamon and ginger. YUM.
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp all spice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- For the filling:
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 blood orange, peeled and seeds removed
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger, or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Next, add the egg and vanilla to that bowl and stir to combine.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients into the same bowl and stir.
- Next, pour cane sugar out onto a plate and set aside.
- Using your hands, form cookie dough into balls, then roll the balls into the cane sugar, then place them on a baking sheet (you may need 2!). Using your thumb, gently press down into the center of each cookie, forming the thumbprint cookie.
- Place baking sheet(s) in the oven and bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden on the bottom, but be careful not to over-bake.
- As soon as you put the cookies in the oven, start to make the filling.
- Add all filling ingredients to a saucepan over the stovetop on medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break down the orange and cranberries. Once mixture comes to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer until the mixture thickens and a compote or jam forms.
- Once cookies are done, remove them from the oven and wait a couple minutes before using your thumb to press down on them again, making sure there's enough room in each cookie to fill them with the blood orange jam.
- Next, spoon our a small amount--approx. 1 tbsp--of jam into each cookie, and then place the cookies back into the oven and bake them for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the oven and onto a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and/or orange zest before serving, and enjoy!