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Red Velvet Thumbprints

Photo: Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller

Hands-on time 12 mins
Total time 1 hr, 20 mins
Yield

Makes about 2 dozen

There's no need to use a pastry bag to fill cookies. Just transfer the frosting to a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and snip the corner.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red liquid food coloring
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate morsels, melted according to package directions and cooled
  • Garnish: white chocolate morsels

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and food coloring; beat 30 seconds.

  2. Sift flour with next 2 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in vanilla.

  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press thumb or end of a wooden spoon into each ball, forming an indentation.

  4. Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies are fragrant and dry. While cookies are still warm, press indentations again. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

  5. Stir together cream cheese and melted white chocolate in a small bowl. Fill centers of cookies with cream cheese mixture.