Each year I bake Coconut Cherry Thumbprints for their beauty and taste. So good are these cookies, friends ask for them when they know cookies are forthcoming. Long after the holidays are over those who don’t normally eat cookies remember them. Proof these cookies are a home run. Simple to make, the pricey ingredients are limited to whole cherry preserves and butter. (Both are necessary, as neither can be replaced. Since only the whole cherry in the preserves is used there is cherry preserve/jelly remaining, but it does not make a good replacement for a whole cherry.) The ingredients are easy to assemble and the dough has a quick chill time, which allows someone else to clean the kitchen and set up the assembly line for the cookies before the dough is properly chilled.
Allow space for your assembly line as you need to scoop and roll the dough balls, use an egg wash, and roll in coconut before placing on the cookie sheet. Once a cookie sheet is filled, add a dent and a whole cherry. The cookies are now ready for the oven. Use all your cookie sheets and line each with parchment paper (reusing the parchment as more cookies are baked). By using multiple cookie sheets you can be preparing one cookie sheet, have one prepared and waiting for the oven, one in the oven, and one cooling (with or without cookies). Since you work with 5-10 cookies at a time and the cookies need space, oven time, and cooling time four sheets work well, but you can work with fewer sheets if necessary. Once the cookies are baked, let cool a few minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack or cooling towel.
Notes: parchment paper is necessary because of the sugar in the coconut. If you forget the parchment you will have difficulty removing the cookie from the baking sheet and you will distort the cookie shape when trying to remove the cookie. Of course, cookies misshapen by accident or intent are still delicious.
Sadly, these cookies do not travel well, nor do they freeze well. These are a make, bake, and take cookie.