Cookie season is here! So here is my recipe for easy Quince cookies, a delicious treat that melts in your mouth! So take a break from all the Christmas madness to make these delicious cookies with your kids. These easy and healthy Quince cookies are the perfect thumbprint cookie to make with small hands these holidays. Soft, buttery Quince jam-filled thumbprint cookies are the cutest, festive treat! Plus, they are the best Christmas treats to give friends and family.
The Best Christmas Cookies For Kids
Every Christmas, our family makes cookies. The kids love spending time in the kitchen, and we like to bake our childhood favorite cookies. But we also like experimenting with new flavors. We love giving thumbprint cookies as Christmas gifts to friends and family. And this year, the kids put them in paper bags that they decorated and presented to their teachers; they were so proud!
Last year, I was still working a 9 to 5 job at an office. And I did not get to participate in all the Christmas baking as much as I would have liked. So Paula got to have all the fun with the kids. But since this year she is busier (and I am working from home), I got to get in on the holiday baking fun.
Keeping Traditions Alive with Quince Cookies
Growing up in Guatemala, my favorite after-school snacks were a grilled quince jam and cream cheese sandwich. My mom made quince paste during the holidays and served it during the Posadas Navideñas, a unique Christmas tradition in my hometown.
So I came up with the idea of making quince cookies! And while looking for an easy sugar cookie recipe to use as a base for our quince treats, I came upon a cream cheese idea. So I thought: Quince + cream cheese = perfection!
What is Quince?
Quince fruit is a small, round-shaped fruit used to make jellies, marmalades, and jams. In appearance, it looks like a hybrid between an apple and a pear. But unlike these yummy pome fruit friends, this rich golden yellow fruit is almost inedible raw.
So, What Does Quince Taste Like?
Fresh Quince is hard and tough to chew, with an astringent and sour taste before cooking. But when cooked, it turns into a mild divine flavor with a sweet and tangy taste. And since it has pectin, it makes for a great addition to cooking pie fillings and, of course, Christmas cookies!
How to Make Easy Quince Thumbprint Cookies
I started with a basic sugar cookie recipe but wanted to make these thumbprint cookies healthier. So I replaced regular butter with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®. Then, I used reduced-fat cream cheese (with 1/3 less fat than the traditional one) and unbleached whole wheat flour.
Have to admit, these were my first cookies. I am usually more of a grilling-and-pasta guy, and baking is new to me. But since we all did them together, I had lots of help from everyone! And the kids loved putting their “fingerprints” on these delicious baked goodies.
What You Need to Make Quince Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter softened
- One package, 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- One egg yolk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
- Quince jam (I bought the quince jam at a Latin American Market)
How To Make Quince-Filled Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl, combine I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.
4. Add flour and mix well.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough is easy to handle.
6. Shape dough into 1-in. balls. Place them two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
7. Using your thumb or the back of a teaspoon measuring spoon, make a 1/2-inch-deep indentation in the center of each ball. Next, fill with about 1/4 teaspoon of quince jam.
8. Bake at 350° for 10-14 minutes or until set.
9. Remove to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!
What Can You Replace The Quince Paste With?
If you don’t have Quince jam, you can replace it with many different ingredients. If you want to keep similar flavors, try pear and apple jams that provide sweetness and texture similar to Quince. Any berry preservers or fig paste also work great with these fingerprint Christmas cookies.
Other delicious substitutes for Quince are dulce de leche, Nutella, or citrusy jams. Depending on what you choose (especially if you go for any milky alternatives), bake the cookie dough first. Then load them up with your favorite filling. Don’t forget to let the cookies cool down first before stuffing them with your filling of choice.
Quince Cookies, The Best Xmas Treats!
This Quince-filled cookies recipe was easy to make, and my kids helped. They enjoyed pressing their little thumbs into the soft dough and filling the cookies with jam. Plus, these Christmas cookies are not only healthier but are also not overly sweet. And, as the cookies were baking in the oven, the kitchen smelled of Quince! It’s incredible how scents and flavors can transport you and bring back so many memories.
I am sure this kid-friendly Christmas cookie recipe will make the list of your favorite holiday treats. Plus, I don’t feel too guilty eating these Quince cookies (as long as I don’t eat too many) because they don’t have that many calories. They are the best Christmas cookies ever!
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Easy and Healthy Quince Cookies
Delicious thumbprint Christmas cookies filled with Quince jam, perfect for making with kids
- 1 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, softened
- 1 package, 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
- quince jam, I bought the quince jam at a Latin American Market
- Preheat oven to 350° .
- In a large bowl combine I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.
- Add flour and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- Shape dough into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Using the your thumb or the back of a teaspoon measuring spoon make a 1/2-in.-deep indentation in the center of each ball; fill with about 1/4 teaspoon of quince jam.
- Bake at 350° for 10-14 minutes or until set.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
If you don't have Quince jam, you can replace it with lots of different ingredients. If you want to keep similar flavors, try pear and apple jams that provide sweetness and texture similar to Quince. Any berry preservers or fig paste also work great with these fingerprint Christmas cookies.
Other delicious substitutes for Quince are dulce de leche, Nutella, or citrusy jams. Depending on what you choose (especially if you go for any milky alternatives), bake the cookie dough first. Then load them up with your favorite filling. Don't forget to let the cookies cool down first before stuffing them with your filling of choice.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 6.3gSaturated Fat: 2.4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 15.8gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 12.9gProtein: 0.7g
A 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice. Nutrition information isn't always accurate.
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1 thought on “Quince Cookies, Healthy and Easy Christmas Treats”
I love Membrillo (quince), used to eat it with queso fresco. And these cookies are out of this world! thanks for sharing this easy Christmas cookie recipe