Thumbprint Cookies

This December has been wacky. So many things went wrong. Here, I’ll list them:

  1. My oven broke on Thanksgiving day, and we couldn’t get a new one delivered until December 18th. Mr. Handsome (new oven) was delivered (yay!), but didn’t fit in the oven space (boo!). We couldn’t get a handyman out to put Mr. Handsome in it’s place for a few days, but we could still plug him in, so I’ve been baking cookies in the middle of the kitchen.
  2. I wanted to give the mailman our Christmas card with a tip, so when I saw him walk past our house I ran out very enthusiastically and handed it to him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t our usual mailman, so I had to ask for the card back. I’m not proud of myself.
  3. When I was online at the Starbucks drive-thru I decided to be a phantom do-gooder, and pay for the car in back of me. Unfortunately, the car in back of me was making an office coffee run. The total came to $50.  
  4. And finally, I decided to show my kids the end of the movie Titanic, when the ship sinks, because I… well, I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. In my defense, I didn’t remember it being so horrible. Well, it was so horrible. And my boys never want to go on a boat. Not even a canoe. 

Anyway, these thumbprint cookies are super good. They’re exactly what I wanted to bake in our new oven (hooray I can bake again!). Thumbprint cookies are usually made with all butter, but I found an old recipe by Diana Rattray that uses butter and shortening, so what is produced is a buttery, tender, almost delicate cookie that melts in your mouth. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get going before something else happens. 

Okay, a couple things about these cookies. First of all, chill the dough for at least an hour and as long as 24 hours before scooping out. This will relax the dough, solidify the fat (keep it from spreading too much), and enhance the flavor. Secondly, a tablespoon’s worth of dough seems to make a good cookie size.

Roll each ball in egg white, and then coat them in ground walnuts or pecans.

Bake them in their ball shape in a 350 degree F. oven for about 10 minutes. As soon as they’re out of the oven imprint your thumb into the middle of each cookie. The cookie will be very hot (sorry), and feel unbaked, but don’t worry about that. Leave them on the hot cookie sheet until they cool and firm up. Then fill with raspberry jam!

Thumbprint Cookies
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  1. 2 cups (250 g) All-Purpose Flour
  2. 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  3. 1/2 tsp Salt
  4. 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  5. 1/2 cup (95 g) Shortening, room temperature
  6. 1/2 cup (100 g) Light Brown Sugar
  7. 2 Large Egg Yolks
  8. 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  9. 2 Large Egg Whites, lightly beaten
  10. 2 cups Ground Walnuts
  11. Raspberry Jam
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, and then the vanilla. Finally, mix in the dry ingredients. Wrap up the dough in plastic, and chill for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking trays with parchment and set aside.
  4. Place the egg whites in one bowl, and the ground walnuts in another.
  5. Scoop out tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and roll into smooth balls. Dunk each ball in the egg whites and then roll in the walnuts. Place on the cookie sheet at least an inch apart.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven press your thumb in the middle of each cookie. Set aside to firm up and cool.
  7. Once cooled, fill each cookie with raspberry jam. Enjoy!
Special equipment needed
  1. Hand-held or standing mixer
  2. Two baking sheets
  3. Parchment paper
  4. Tablespoon
To store
  1. Cookies will keep for a week at room temperature in an air-tight container, or up to 3 months in the freezer if wrapped well, and placed in an air-tight container.
Adapted from Your Guide To Southern Cuisine
Adapted from Your Guide To Southern Cuisine
Project Pastry Love