Jam Thumbprint Almond Cookies
You usually see these cookies during Christmas, but they’re great to give on Valentine’s Day in a festive box. A family friend, the "sweet little old lady" kind, named Ginny Fitzsimmons, shared her recipe with me when I was about 11 years old. I found it the other day, typed neatly (by her) on an index card, and decided I should make them. They’re just as I remember – a rich buttery shortbread-like cookie with a sweet jam center and slightly crunchy outer coating. Bake up a batch for the Valentine in your life.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely ground (or skinned hazelnuts)
Strawberry or raspberry jam, for filling
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Mix butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined.
5. Stir together ground nuts and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on a plate. Beat egg white with fork in a small bowl until frothy.
6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in nut-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down center of each ball with the rounded end of a wooden spoon (or your thumb) . Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; press down centers again with the end of a wooden spoon. Rotate sheets and return to oven. Bake cookies until light golden brown, about 10 minutes more.Fill each center with about ½ teaspoon of jam and return to oven for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
Ginny's Original Recipe Card