Holiday Cookie Swap with Trisha Pérez Kennealy

Be the champ at your next holiday cookie swap with these effortlessly elegant Sesame Thumbprint Cookies from Chef Trisha Pérez Kennealy, owner of the amazing Inn at Hastings Park, a Relais & Chateaux property that is also part of Ocean House Management.

Perfectly nestled in Lexington, Massachusetts, just 15 miles outside Boston, the Inn at Hastings Park provides unrivaled hospitality and exceptional culinary experiences. The Boston area’s only Relais & Châteaux, the Inn features 22 stylishly luxurious accommodations, including a lovingly preserved guest house and barn that merge Lexington’s historic heritage and architecture with a contemporary American chic design.

An immersive food and wine destination unlike any other in New England, the Inn provides a delicious respite for those in-the-know, from a transformed seasonal menu at upscale Town Meeting Bistro, to the exclusive Whispering Angel Culinary Garden. Chef Kennealy also shares her passion for teaching in her role as Culinary Educator, offering indoor and outdoor cooking classes for hotel and day guests alike.

Trisha's Sesame Thumbprint Cookies


      • 1 cup butter
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1 teaspoon almond extract
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
      • 3/4 cup any flavor fruit jam; I like using guava


    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 
    • Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the almond extract and the salt. Stir in the flour and mix well.
    • Shape tablespoonfuls of the dough into walnut-sized balls then roll the balls in sesame seeds to cover completely. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly. With your thumb, indent the center of each cookie. Fill indentations with jam or preserves.
    • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let cool on a rack. Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container.

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    These cookies are perfect if you're hosting a cookie swap with friends & family this holiday season (a must-do since we might not see all of our loved ones this year). You'll notice I used almond extract, as it reminds me of one of my favorite cookies growing up in Puerto Rico, the Mantecadito.

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    all photos courtesy of Inn at Hastings Park