4th of July Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
Red and blue food coloring
24 large chocolate nonpareil candies
Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the cornstarch, confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beating on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour until well combined.
Divide the dough in half and place in separate bowls. Add red food coloring to one portion of dough and blend thoroughly. Add blue food coloring to the other portion and blend thoroughly. Shape each portion into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Divide each disk into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 15-inch rope. Place 1 red rope and 1 blue rope, side by side, on a work surface and twist together. Cut the twisted rope into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining red and blue ropes of dough.
Bake the cookies until firm to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. Place 1 candy in the center of each warm cookie. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.