Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jewel Thumbprints

Christmas is only five days away, and I have so many more cookies I want to bake!  I got started last night with a recipe from my Grandma Jean for jewel thumbprint cookies.  These were always a holiday staple in my house as a kid, but I have not made them in years.  We always made them with red currant and green apple mint jelly and they looked so festive.  I didn't find any currant jelly (take note, Whole Foods!), so I went with concord grape jelly.  While they're not the classic red and green for Christmas, these little jewels are just as delicious in purple!  Thanks, mom, for sending the recipe!

Jewel Thumbprints
Makes 2 dozen cookies

½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

1 egg white
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/4 cup fruit jelly

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture just until well incorporated. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 3 hours.

After the dough has chilled for 3 hours, preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with silicone mats or parchment paper. Whisk the egg white with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside with the chopped nuts (I chopped them finely in the food processor).

Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the egg white and then in the nuts. Place on the prepared cookie sheets, about two inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. 

Remove the cookies from the oven and make an indent in each one with a clean, floured thimble, your thumb, or the back of a small measuring spoon. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and press each indent again with your thumbprint tool of choice. Fill each indent with one half teaspoon of jelly. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  

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