These cookies are fun to make. If you have children have them help you make the indentation with their thumbs and add the jam. This is a great way to include your children in what you are doing and spent time with them.
I love these cookies so much. They are so simple to make and look so festive, perfect for Christmas.
I rolled the dough balls in finely chopped pecans, but you can use walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. You can also combine two different nuts if you like. Then, I made an indentation with the back of a wooden spoon and filled it with raspberry preserves.
I used raspberry preserves, but you can use any jam or preserves you enjoy.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, soften
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or pecans finely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserve
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla 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 dough is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in the center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl beat the egg white until frothy. Place the finely chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white then lightly roll in the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Using our thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make a indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam or preserves.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set and nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
Note: To toast the nuts. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes (almonds, pecans and walnuts). The nuts are done when they are light golden brown in color and fragrant.
Bake the hazelnuts for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and the outer skin begins to flake. Remove the nuts from the oven and place the hot nuts on a kitchen towel. Roll up the towel and let the nut sit in steam for a few minutes. Then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove skins. Let cool completely. Once cool place nuts in food processor and process until finely chopped. You can also chop the nuts by hand.
If you are planning to store these cookies for more than a couple of days, I like to bake then without the jam. Just reduce the cooking time for a few minutes. This cookies can be stored for up to a week. Fill the cookies with jam the same day you are serving.
Makes about 20 cookies
Source: Joy of Baking