I made these with hot raspberry and hot pineapple jelly, and they are delicious. I used light brown sugar, and reduced the amount to 3/4 cup. I also reduced the vanilla to 1/2 tsp. I tried jalapeno jelly, and it was just too hot for a cookie (for me.) I didn't get anywhere near the 8 dozen cookies the recipe says; I got 56 the 1st time and 65 the 2nd time I made them.
I like this recipe, but made some changes. First, I tried to substitute blue cornmeal for yellow....I wouldn't recommend this, it made it hard to tell when they were done and so I ended up over-baking them not burnt just way too crisp...after I ran out and got some yellow cornmeal we were off and running again. Second, I cut down on the vanilla, using only about 3/4 teaspoon. Third, use salted butter...the recipe didn't specify, so I started out with unsalted considering it was baking, but that was a mistake way too sweet a cookie. Fourth, I mixed some cream cheese with powdered sugar and piped a small dollop into the "thumbprint" first then topped with red pepper jelly. This added an excellent creaminess and tanginess from the cheese. Also, I don't think the recipe stressed how small to make these....I tried to make them small but I still only ended up with about 60 cookies, not 96...also, I noticed the cookies that were the smallest seemed to hold their shape the best and look the prettiest after baking....so I would suggest if you think they are the right size - make them smaller :). Fifth, it took me more like 18 minutes a batch instead of 10-12, maybe I just have a crummy oven, but if it takes you longer to get that golden brown don't fret just keep an eye on them and add a couple minutes on the timer. I also would recommend using a piping bag or the ol' zip lock with the corner cut off to pipe in cream cheese and pepper jelly...made it much neater and faster than with a spoon. I used the handle tip of a wooden spoon to help me make the wells so the walls would be higher and the jelly wouldn't leak out. The first batch (unsalted butter/blue cornmeal) I trashed, but the second batch are delicious!!!