When you think of thumbprints, what probably comes to mind are sweet cookies—and we love a good thumbprint cookie, but for the savory lovers, we’ve got something different to bake up: savory cheese cookies with fig hot pepper jelly. They’re full of bold flavors, perfect for a cheese plate or as a bite to serve alongside wine at happy hour.
The Easiest Fig Hot Pepper Jelly
Here’s a small hack: use your favorite store-bought hot pepper jelly. Then, for the fig hot pepper jelly, stir in finely chopped Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice California Dried Figs. The figs add a fruity sweetness to the zesty fiery jelly that pairs so well with the cheeses in the cookies. You will fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of the fig hot pepper jelly — just enough to spice things up!
Cheeses of Choice
For the savory cheese cookies, we like to use a mix of Jarlsberg and Parmesan cheese for a tangy nutty flavor.
How to Bake Savory Cheese Cookies
To start baking, you will beat the butter until creamy and then beat in the egg yolks for a rich cookie base. This next part is important—on low speed, you will mix in the flour until just combined. Part of the reason for the low speed and mixing until just combined is to ensure that your cookies have a tender crumb and don’t develop the gluten in the flour. The other reason is that you will continue lightly working the dough by mixing in the Jarlsberg, Parmesan, and nuts.
Then, divide the dough into four equal portions, wrapping three of them in wax paper or plastic wrap to chill while you work with the other portion of dough.
On work surface, form remaining portion of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place balls, 1 1/2-inches apart, on an un-greased sheet pan. With thumb or back of wooden spoon, make 1/2-inch indentation in center of each cookie. The cookies will bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Repeat shaping and baking with remaining dough. To serve, in small bowl, stir together figs and jelly. Fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon fig-pepper jelly
If needed, you can press the back of a teaspoon into the cookies after baking them to re-form the indentations.
You can also make the dough ahead of time—1 to 2 days ahead. To do this, form the dough into a 1 1/2-inch cylinder, wrap airtight and chill or freeze for longer storage.
The baked cookies can be stored unfilled, in an airtight container for 2 days or frozen. To re-crisp, them, place on baking sheet in 350° oven for 2 to 4 minutes. Cool. Fill with fig-pepper jelly as directed.
Savory Cheese Cookies with Fig Hot Pepper Jelly
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 egg yolk large
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups Jarlsberg cheese shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 1/2 cup pecans toasted, finely chopped, or almonds
- 3/4 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs finely chopped, stemmed
- 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly red or green
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place butter in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg yolks. On low speed, gradually beat in flour. Stir in Jarlsberg, parmesan and nuts. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Wrap 3 in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill. On work surface, form remaining portion of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place balls, 1 1/2-inches apart, on ungreased baking sheet. With thumb or back of wooden spoon, make 1/2-inch indentation in center of each cookie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. If needed, press back of teaspoon into cookies to re-form indentations. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat shaping and baking with remaining dough. To serve, in small bowl, stir together figs and jelly. Fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon fig-pepper jelly