Sally Sue doesn't have any open parties

A favorite childhood memory is of my mom in the kitchen, baking up holiday cookies. Sugar cut-outs and spritz cookies were always popular, but my favorite was mom’s thumbprint cookies. I’d watch her roll out the little balls of dough, roll them in crushed nutmeats and use her thumb to press a small well in the center of them. Once baked, she’d fill the centers with frosting in pretty shades of pink and green.

This will be my first holiday season without mom. I wanted to honor the memory of those beloved baking traditions in my own way. When I saw the recipe for Blackberry Thumbprints in the Holiday Baking Kit, I knew I had found what I was looking for.

The mix makes this recipe SO easy: just stir together Packet 1 with two eggs and a half cup of softened butter to form the dough. I formed generous 1-inch balls and, in a nod to mom’s recipe, rolled some of them in crushed nutmeats.

After baking for 10 minutes at 375°F, I pulled them out of the oven and used my favorite tablespoon – one with a deep, round bowl – to make the indentations in each one. Then I filled the centers with a whipped mixture of 8 oz. cream cheese and Packet 2 (blackberry flavoring).

Tip: You can use a spoon to fill the cookies, but I find a pastry bag makes it easier and neater to pipe a perfect circle onto each cookie.

Back into the oven for about four minutes, then to the cooling rack. These already-pretty cookies get a sweet finishing touch with a drizzle of melted chocolate or white chocolate (I tinted mine pink.) In my grand tradition of “more is more,” I added a few toasted, sliced almonds on some of them.

If you are looking for a sweet, slightly tangy cookie that’s both familiar and new, try these. I think you’ll find them a little bite of heaven.