The combination of having a summer cold, a craving for something sweet to eat, and not wanting to go out in the drizzling rain prompted me to get out the butter and fire up the oven. Ever since I bought some thumbprint cookies coated with nuts at a bakery, I’ve been craving them. Somehow, while under the influence of cold medications, I groggily managed to find a thumbprint cookie recipe and make the cookies. There’s nothing better than a spot of hot tea to ease a cold and chase away a rainy day, unless of course, you bake a buttery cookie coated with crunchy nuts and filled with tart jam to accompany that cup of tea!
Joy of Baking.com
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup ( 130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand-mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3) minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. (If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.)
4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch (2.54 cm) balls. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll into the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1-inch apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
5. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
To toast the nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 – 10 minutes. The nuts are done when when they are light-golden brown in color and fragrant.
If you are planning to store these cookies, I like to bake them without the jam. Just reduce the baking time by a few minutes. These cookies can be stored for about a week. Fill the cookies with jam the same day as serving.
Makes about 20 cookies
1. This recipe is very adaptable. You can add nuts or withhold the nuts. You can choose any flavor of jam that you want. I used red current jam, since that is what I had in the refrigerator.
2. The next time I make these, I will make them larger in size and increase the baking time accordingly. I want them to be a chunkier type of cookie, rather than small dainty cookies.
3. To make the indentations in the dough, I pressed the rounded bottoms of either my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon or my 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. They created very nice wells for the jam.