Thumbprint Jam Cookies

When I first made these, it was in the middle of my Obsession with all things Lord of the Rings. As... fate? worked out, one of them, after it had cooled and what not, had the exact shape as the Eye of Sauron. So, secretly, because I guess it's kinda dorky, even for me, I call these the 'Eye of Sauron' cookies. Shhh ;)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup jam of choice

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add sugar; beat until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually blend into butter mixture. Stir in walnuts.

(Optional: you can chill the dough for an hour, if needed. According to notes, I don't recall doing this)

Roll dough into balls and put on cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space in between them. Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill each cookie with about 1/4 teaspoon of jam.

Bake at 350F for 14-15 minutes, or until edges are brown. Remove from oven; let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Makes 24-30 cookies.

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