The baking aisle is packed with a wide variety of cake and cookie mixes these days, when it seems like there were just a handful to choose from only a few short years ago. Cake and cookie mixes let non-bakers look like pros and give even seasoned bakers a quick, fun option when they need a treat on short notice, so I’m always up to give them a try. The Strawberry Thumbprint Cookie Mix from Betty Crocker is a limited edition flavor that will probably be on store shelves for at least a couple of months, making it a sweet option for spring and summer baking.
Thumbprint cookies are a style that you don’t typically find in a boxed mix. The cookies get their name because the dough is shaped into balls and a cavity is pressed into the top – usually with a thumb, hence the name – then filled with something delicious such as jam or lemon curd. This particular mix includes the dry ingredients to make the cookie base, along with a packet of jam for filling the thumbprints.
The cookie dough comes together quickly and easily with the addition of softened butter and it is simple to shape them into 21 (an unusual number) individual cookies, as specified on the box. The jam had a nice consistency, bright strawberry flavor and stayed in place nicely during baking as the cookie dough baked. Unfortunately, while the jam had a bright strawberry flavor, the cookie dough was very bland. It had a great texture that absolutely melted in your mouth, but didn’t leave much behind besides a vague butter flavor.
This isn’t to say that the cookies were bad, but I wanted the cookies to have a little bit more of a “wow” flavor to match their colorful look. After baking, I noticed that the cookies on the box were rolled in sugar before being filled with the jam and I think that this would have been a huge improvement in the flavor of the cookies, adding a little extra sweetness (which the dough needed) and a bit of crunch to contrast with the ultra-tender cookies.
Overall, I loved the ease of this mix and felt that it made thumbprints very approachable. I prefer to make my “thumbprints” using the back of a teaspoon so that they are even, rather than the oblong shape of my thumb, and would recommend that technique to anyone trying the cookies. I would also suggest rolling the dough in a bit of sugar as you shape them to give them more texture, or adding the zest of a lemon to create a strawberry lemonade cookie that will deliver a “wow” flavor to match the cookies’ colorful look.