Easy Wild Blueberry Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies


Although I habitually buy the December issue of Martha Stewart Magazine — dazzled by the promise of a spectacular Christmas on its cover — I’ve never actually made a single holiday craft within its pages. I want to. I really do. But anything that requires mail ordering craft materials or investing in new cooking supplies gives me pause. Plus, spending the day making wreaths out of fallen twigs or assembling three-dimensional cookies is more than I can handle in December. I gravitate towards kitchen crafts you can make in under an hour rather than under a day.

Enter the newest addition to my holiday baking repertoire: Wild Blueberry Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies. A festive, easy and fun-to-make holiday cookie that marries the seasonal flavors of gingerbread with a quick homemade jam.  No exotic spices or expensive made-to-order cookie cutters needed, only a working thumb, an ordinary plastic baggie and some delicious frozen Wild Blueberries.

This recipe riffs off a popular old-fashioned one, where you roll the dough into small balls and hollow out the centers with the press of a thumb. In this new version, the cookies get filled with tasty homemade fruit preserves before going into the oven to bake. Making your own jam is really simple. For this recipe, all you do is stir together Wild Blueberries and chia seeds. The seeds work their magic on the fruit, transforming it into a Wild Blueberry jam that’s well-suited to the flavors of gingerbread.

Speaking of gingerbread – that’s another departure from the classic one for this recipe. I’ve used gingerbread dough instead of the traditional shortbread kind. Plus, this new interpretation derives much of its sweetness from less processed sources (Wild Blueberries and honey), and is made with whole-wheat flour rather than the all-purpose white variety.

The one element of this cookie that does channel a bit of that Martha spirit is the white chocolate drizzle. It’s a purely optional finishing touch that can be accomplished by filling a simple plastic bag with melted chocolate, snipping off a corner, and getting your drizzle on. No fancy equipment, rarified craft supplies, or mail-order ingredients required.

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Wild Blueberry Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, plus more for finishing the cookies
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
1 egg
½ cup white chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Put the frozen Wild Blueberries into a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high to defrost, 1 minute. Add the chia seeds and honey, stir well; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine brown sugar, molasses, butter and egg; beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll chilled dough into 24 one-inch balls. Put several tablespoons brown sugar in a small bowl and roll each dough ball in the sugar. Place on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets. Dig your thumb into the center of each dough ball to hollow out the center. Fill each center with a small spoonful of Wild Blueberries. (If you have leftover filling, save it to spread on toast or stir into yogurt).
  6. Bake the cookies until fairly firm to the touch and no longer raw looking across the top, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. If you care to decorate with white chocolate, put the white chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and melt on high, 1 to 1 ½ minutes, stirring with a fork until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to snip a tiny corner off the bag. Drizzle the white chocolate in stripes over the top of each cookie.
  8. Once the white chocolate is dry, store in a covered container.