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Adding Cheese to Cookies: Blue Cheese Thumbprints

Some might doubt the need to fuss with the cookie formula—after all, butter plus sugar plus flour plus your favorite fruit, nut, or candy does equal peak treat. But here at culture, cheese graces 99 percent of our recipes, adding richness, tang, and dimension. Why should cookies be any different? To that end—and in time for your holiday cheese plates, dessert trays, and gift boxes—we’ve put together this collection of sweet and savory treats, featuring confections with cheese in the dough, in the filling, and in the icing. Still skeptical? We thought not.

Jammy Blue Cheese Thumbprints

These savory-sweet nuggets are like a self-contained cheese pairing. To mix it up, try fig jam or orange marmalade in the center of the cookies, or experiment with any of your favorite flavor.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces softened blue cheese crumbled
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cherry jam


  • Heat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Combine cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
  • Add sugar and beat until incorporated. Add whole egg and beat until
  • combined. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 parts, beating until just incorporated.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into 1-inch balls.
  • Whisk egg whites in a small bowl and toss walnuts and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Dip dough balls first in egg white and then in walnuts to coat.
  • Place coated cookies on prepared baking sheets, flatten gently, and make a divot with your finger in the center of each round. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden and walnuts are toasty brown. Remove from heat and cool on baking sheets.
  • While cookies are baking, warm jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • Once cookies have cooled for at least 10 minutes, use a small spoon to fill each divot with about ½ teaspoon jam. Set cookies aside until jam is set (about 1 hour).

Photographed by Beryl Striewski

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.

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