Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam

Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam

Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam

Metric? Imperial? Tablespoons? Ounces? Grams? It is all just so darn confusing! I know what you are thinking – Chef Julianna should be a pro at doing conversions, shouldn’t she? Well, no. You see, I was brought up in an era of measurement confusion. As a kid growing up in Canada, it was clear and easy – imperial measurements were the order of the day. We measured length in inches and feet; distance in miles; weight in pounds; and we baked with cups, teaspoons and tablespoons. I could go into a store and hold a bag of apples in my hands, and instinctively know that it was one pound. Easy, right? Then some bonehead (no names mentioned) decided that Canada would adopt the metric system. What? The radio played little songs so that we would know if we were speeding or not – “ 30 gives you 50 – 50 gives you 80”. The prices of produce now seemed outrageous! Oh, but they were now being expressed in kilos, not pounds.  And so the era of confusion began.

Roll the calendar ahead a few decades and I am now comfortable driving in kilometers per hour.  I am OK buying fabric by the meter, but I don’t know what a centimeter looks like – I prefer inches. I have no idea how tall I am in centimeters, nor could I tell you my weight in kilos. And in the kitchen? Well, those of you who have been following my blog, know how I measure ingredients. It is imperial all the way. Then I encounter a recipe that I am dying to make, and it is in metric. What to do, what to do?

So much flavour!

So much flavour!

So here is the story. When Dini, the amazing Flavour Blender posted her recipe, I knew I was going to make these cookies. To her benefit, she gave the measurements in ounces and grams, but she didn’t measure anything in cups. So I set out to convert the recipe to cups. I am very stubborn. I agonized for hours, trying to wrap my brain around it. I was determined to convert 100 grams of cheddar cheese to cups. Well folks, it just doesn’t work nicely, because you can pack a cup more firmly and it weighs far more than 100 grams! In the end, I gave in to the beauty and accuracy of weighing the ingredients. So here, for the first time, I am sharing a recipe with you in metric and weights. Get out your kitchen scales everyone, and enjoy a recipe that will turn out perfectly!

These cookies will be a huge hit over the entertaining season! I only made them once, but dreamed about the flavours for weeks afterwards.  They are rich, buttery cheesy cookies with hints of fragrant rosemary and heat of jalapeño, all crumbling into a thick, peppery tomato chutney,  accented with the distinctive malty flavour of Jack. If you want to take this recipe to the next level, just top the cookies with slices of your favourite cheese, and don’t forget the wine!

I will be bringing a big plate of my cookies over to everyone at Fiesta Friday.  Many thanks to our co-hosts. I will also be sharing this post with Throwback Thursdays, Foodie FriDIY, and Saucy Saturdays.  Be sure to check out these awesome link parties and prepare to be mesmerized.


Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


225 gr unsalted butter, softened

100 gr white cheddar cheese, grated

100 gr Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

leaves of 1 large rosemary sprig, finely chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

25 gr white sugar

1 egg

190 gr all-purpose flour

150 gr semolina

Tomato Bourbon Jam

454 gr cherry tomatoes

150 gr white sugar

5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to your taste)

1 large clove garlic minced

57 gr white onion, diced

pinch of cumin

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)


Chop the grated cheese roughly and mix it with the rosemary and jalapeno. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the softened the butter, sugar, and salt and cream together. Add the cheese-herb mixture and mix. Add the egg and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and semolina together. Add this in two batches to the butter-cheese mixture and combine 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. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper.

Form 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. The cookies should be golden on the bottom and light-golden on top.

Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.

If you’re storing the cookies, DO NOT STACK (the jam will stick to the bottom of the cookies).

Tomato Bourbon Jam

Tomato Bourbon Jam

  Tomato Bourbon Jam

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.

This chutney can be stored in mason jars until needed (makes enough for 1 ½ batches of these cookies).

So perfect for the entertaining season!

So perfect for the entertaining season!








82 Responses to “Cheesy Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Bourbon Jam”

  1. Bernadine

    I’ve heard of thumbprint cookies with jam, but I like the savory twist you gave to the cookies!😋😋

  2. Maggie

    My mom is American so everything is in cups and ounces. My sisters who did home ec are all metric and I mostly do cups but so many recipes over here are metric and it gets so confusing. I appreciate your pain!

  3. Les

    Great last pic ….. !!!! Just want to grab one off the plate !!! They look delicious … will have to drag the kitchen scale out and give the recipe a go ! Yes they will be great for entertaining ….

    • chefjulianna

      You will love them, Les! And really glad you like the pics! If you like them, then I know I am on the right track! Let me know when you make them! Cheers! 😀

  4. FrugalHausfrau

    What? Bourbon in the jam? I can’t wait to try one of my jars of tomato jam (sadly with no bourbon) with these savory little cookies!! Love it!

  5. petra08

    You make me want to bake! If I had the ingredients at home now I would have made them asap! These cookies looks so delicious I can’t wait to try them 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Hey Petra! Really glad that you like them! I bet you will make a lovely little twist on the recipe, though…. Can’t wait to see what you do! 😀

      • petra08

        hi Julianna
        How can I not like them? Savory cookies? Just my thing! Will make them for Christmas for everyone and will let you know how it goes 🙂 Have a good week ahead!

  6. Michelle

    I just got my first kitchen scale so I’m not afraid! 😂
    I put on a 5 course tasting menu for Christmas dinner every year and I think this recipe wins first course!
    Thank you!
    PS would the bourbon jam or the cheesy thumbprint cookies freeze well? (Separately?)

    • chefjulianna

      How awesome, Michelle! They will be a big hit!
      I was going to freeze mine, but they were devoured first 😉 . I would freeze the dough and make the cookies with the thawed dough. The jam lasts a long time in the fridge, because I had leftovers and it lasted a couple of weeks. If you experiment with this, let me know what you discover.

  7. Les Petits Pas de Juls

    Oh my… I’m getting addicted to your blog in matters of seconds! Not sure my stomach will handle seeing such delicious food without going for some ingredients and trying them out!

    • chefjulianna

      So happy that my blog can entice you to make the recipes! My husband and family are all great fans of these recipes, so I bet you will love them too! Good luck! 😀

  8. Zeba@Food For The Soul

    I NEED to make these Julianna…love the fact that these cookies are savory. The tomato jam looks like a winner and will go with so many dishes. Love it:) btw..having lived in Canada, India and the US, I constantly find myself converting to whatever helps me understand the weight, distances and temperatures in my head 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Really glad that you like them, Zeba! You’re right about the tomato jam. I would eat it with so many things. I am definitely making it again!
      Lucky you for having lived in all these places! I envy you, and maybe my brain would make the conversions more easily too! 😉

  9. Loretta

    Oooo these look just wonderful Juliana, that tomato jam with bourbon, I could just devour by the spoonful 🙂 I’ve lived in countries before where everything is measured and weighed on a scale. Sometimes I so want to make a recipe, but alas, I don’t have the patience to convert. This past summer I took a baking course in Lisbon and saw how they measured the flour, sugar etc with such precision on a digital scale. I promised myself I’d treat myself to one when I returned home, but it’s yet to appear in my kitchen 🙂 Good on you for your persistence.

    • chefjulianna

      You know, I have been weighing my ingredients more often for baking. The results are consistently better…. maybe I am becoming a convert…. Yikes! Who would have thought? 😉

  10. Angie | Fiesta Friday

    Reconvert this in cups and spoons pleeeaase…coz I hate weighing!! Lol, just kidding…a few things I guess you need to weigh for accuracy. And if Chef Julianna tells you to do it, you’d better!! 😄😄 Mahvelous dahling! 👏👏

  11. Shake and Sizzle

    These cookies look and sound incredible – can’t wait to make them!

  12. breadbakerdanielle

    Having grown up in the UK before we went metric, I am so with you on this. I’ve got some great scales that I can switch between imperial and metric which helps as I have recipes using both types of measurements!

  13. Linda R Borshay

    These live on! It’s 2019!
    A BIG hit at our Tapas party, loved by all 21 guests.
    No additions, no ‘tweaks’, perfect as is! (maybe a little more Bourbon, lol)


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