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I thought it was time to put the fancy layer cake recipes aside and share a recipe of cookies I made a few days ago. These cookies are amazing! They’re made out of a shortbread like dough that’s covered in toasted chopped up hazelnuts and filled with some jam. They’re also really simple and quick to make which is why I made them twice in the last two days.

It was my little niece’s birthday party last Sunday and I knew that as well as baking a cake (of which I unfortunately didn’t take a picture of, there was too much going on) I wanted to make cookies. I decided on making thumbprint cookies because of they’re simplicity and since it was going to be a baby party I wanted to make some cookies that were small and cute.

The recipe is yet again from Joy of Baking, this is actually the first site that got me into baking in the first place. Back in the days when I was a lot less knowledgeable about the arts of baking and caking I would still always end up with good results from this site. Even though I’ve become more precise with my preparations of dessert this site still remains close to my heart and I go there whenever I need some quick inspiration.

I filled my cookies with a mixed berry jam but you can use whichever jam you prefer. I think the slight tartness of the berries complements the sweet and buttery cookie perfectly. I also used hazelnuts to cover the cookies in but again you can use a different nut if you like. I do highly recommend toasting the nut in the oven before as it really brings out its flavor and also makes it easy to get the skin off once they’re done toasting.

On with the recipe

Thumbprint Cookies
makes about 20-24 cookies

113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
50 g granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
130 g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
80 g hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup jam of choice

To toast the nuts

Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 180 degree C oven for 10-12 minutes until light golden-brown in color and fragrant. Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts sit for a few minutes then rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins. Let cool completely. Once the nuts have cooled chop the nuts with your knife into smaller pieces. I left some bigger pieces amongst them since I like the crunchiness in the cookie. You could also pulse the nuts in your food processor.

For the cookie

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a medium sized bowl for about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

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 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven 177 degrees C (350 degrees F) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the finely chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into balls. To get uniform sized cookies I weighed out each ball. I made mine to be 12-13 grams each. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 2 cm apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make a indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. You can either fill the with a small jam or Pipe the jam in for a less messy version. I made a small piping bag by shaping a rectangle shaped parchment paper into a cone, filling it with some jam and then cutting a small piece of the tip off.

Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and let them cool.

If you don’t plan on serving the cookies on the same day, you could also bake them without the jam to prevent the cookies from getting soggy. Then you can fill the cookies on the day you are planning to serve them.

I highly recommend making those cookies, you won’t regret it. The cookies will keep covered in room temperature for about 4 days but I seriously doubt the will last that long in the house.

Until next time
Sarah