A savory twist on your classic jam-filled sweet thumbprint cookie – Savory Cheese Thumbprint Cookies with Bourbon Tomato Jam are truly the PERFECT party appetizer. These Savory Cookies are insanely flavorful, easy to make and vegetarian!
If you thought we spent all of December eating homemade Twix candy bars, or buttery and crumbly melting moments cookies, or chocolate beer truffles, that would only be partially true. 🙂 After all we made thumbprint cookies too! Except, these aren’t the kind you’d expect. These babies are savory cookies! Savory Cheese Thumbprint Cookies with Bourbon Tomato Jam to be precise. I’m going to be quite frank, there’s no way I can do these cookies any justice with words here. These are some of the best cookies (savory or otherwise) that I’ve had, and I don’t say that lightly.
Mr. K is very easy to please when it comes to the food I make. He’s one of the least picky eaters out there and he will literally eat anything I put in front of him (bless him) with gusto. If he’s fairly quiet, then I can expect a standard “good food, thank you” response. But the more vocal he gets, the more he enjoyed it, I can tell. And these savory cookies, he couldn’t stop talking about!
Crisp on the edges, soft in the middle, with a kicked up sweet and spicy tomato jam in the center, these cheesy savory cookies will be the perfect appetizer for your Christmas party or New Year’s Eve party. Or any party for that matter. And they are vegetarian cookies to boot. Imagine how your guests would be bowled over when they realize that these aren’t actually sweet cookies. Plus, this might be your only chance to get the better of your friend’s annoying kid, when he/she bites into one of these thinking they are regular sweet thumbprint cookies. That expression alone would be worth the effort, would it not? Not that I would know. I mean, I’d never do such a thing. Noooo, never.
Aaaand they are so easy to make, even my hubs could make them. Seriously. The dough comes together quickly and you just make an imprint with your thumb to fill up with some delicious jam/jelly. So really, you got no excuse not to make them. They’d do really well as a party appetizer or even as a game day snack. I made these because I needed a break from sweet cookies, and being a huge fan of thumbprint cookies, I decided to give them a spicy, savory, flavorful twist. The result is truly glorious.
These cookies are crazy delicious with a fantastic jelly center. Here I made a cheese and rosemary cookie dough base and gave it a little bit of a spicy kick, using deseeded jalapeno. So the cookie on its own tastes insanely good, if you choose not to have a jelly/jam center.
But I’d recommend the jam though. I filled these up with an amazingly flavorful tomato jam that incorporates garlic and a few spices and then kicked it up with bourbon! Bourbon folks. Does it not scream PARTY APPETIZER??
- 8oz / 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 3.5oz / 100g white cheddar cheese, grated
- 3.5oz / 100g monterey jack cheese, grated
- 1 deseeded jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 large rosemary sprig, leaves only, finely chopped
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 0.9oz / 25g white sugar
- 1 small egg
- 6.7oz / 190g AP flour
- 5.3oz / 150g semolina
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5.3oz / 150g sugar
- 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Up to 1 tbsp chilli flakes/crushed red pepper (optional - but recommended)
- 1 large clove of garlic minced (about 1 tsp minced garlic)
- 2 oz diced white/yellow sweet onion
- A pinch of cumin
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp bourbon
- Chop the grated cheese roughly and mix it with the rosemary and jalapeno. Alternatively, you can grate the cheese using your food processor, and add the deseeded jalapeno and rosemary leaves, and process finely. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the softened the butter, sugar and salt and cream it together using a whisk/spatula or wooden spoon. Add the cheese-herb mix and mix it through using a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Add the egg and mix it in until well incorporated in the dough.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and semolina together. Add this in two batches to the butter-cheese mix and mix it to form a dough. You may need to use your hands (well-floured) to bring the dough together. Cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes until the oven has preheated.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper.
- Make 1 ½ inch round dough balls and place them on the cookie tray with about 2 inches of space between each (I placed 14 cookies on each tray).
- Create a deep well/imprint in each dough ball using a moistened thumb/finger.
- Fill each well generously with bourbon tomato jam (recipe below).
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Switch the position of the two trays in your oven half way through baking (please see note). The cookies should be golden on the bottom and light-golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly. Serve.
- If you're storing the cookies, DO NOT STACK (the jam will stick to the bottom of the cookies).
- Mix all the ingredients except for the bourbon in a saucepan. Bring the mix to a boil on medium-heat, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mix has come to a boil, increase the heat to keep it at a boil.
- Let the mixture boil while stirring and gently crushing the tomatoes with a spoon as they soften. After about 5 minutes of cooking time, add the bourbon and mix through.
- The mixture should keep cooking until the liquid has become syrupy and thick. The time depends on the heat of your stove, and how much liquid is present in the tomatoes. The end product will resemble preserves with tomato pieces in it.
- These can be stored in mason jars until needed (makes enough for 1 ½ batches of these cookies).
Honestly, these came out even better than I expected, and we have now frozen the remaining cookies for later. You can easily refrigerate or freeze the formed cookies (before baking) without filling the center with jam, no issues there. Or even freeze the baked cookies in a single layer (if you stack them, the jam can stick to the bottom of the cookies). These cheesy savory cookies will go really well with a cocktail, so all in all, these were meant to take center-stage at a party. Oh, and I made an even more amazing, flavorful dip for these cookies,
but that recipe will be for another day in the near future. 🙂, and you can find the recipe for that super easy, sweet and spicy Mango Jalepeno Jam (and Cream Cheese Dip) right here.
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I’ll be sharing my recipe over at –