As a young teenager, one year my mother made Christmas cookies to give as gifts. She made a delectable assortment of cookies that included jam thumbprints, nut crescents, mini cheesecake cookies, gingersnaps, sugar cookies plus I am certain there were more types that I cannot remember. I remember being delighted at so many delicious choices. When I think of jam thumbprints, I think of those cookie trays.
Giving cookie trays has been part of my Christmas tradition for many years, and I always strive for a delicious variety. I have never made jam thumbprints and when I recently picked up a jar of Bonne Maman raspberry jam I was inspired to make these cookies.
Makes 3-4 dozen
¼pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup whole blanched almonds
½ cup jam, or preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and ½ cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well.
Whisk together flour and salt, and add to mixture, beating on low until combined.
In a small food processor, combine almonds with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and process until almonds are finely ground.
In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white.
Form dough into 1-inch balls.
Dip in egg white, then in almond-and-sugar mixture.
Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your finger or bottom of a thick wooden spoon.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press down the centers again. Fill the center of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of jam.
Rotate sheets, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more.
Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.
recipe adapted from MSL