I love a jam thumbprint, especially when the cookie has been baked with the jam – it gets all chewy and delicious. There are a zillion thumbprint recipes but this one, adapted from Martha Stewart, is especially good.
Martha’s original version calls for hazelnuts and strawberry jam. I prefer the Linzer flavors of almonds and raspberries. I don’t toast my almonds beforehand because I feel they get toasted enough in the baking. You certainly can if you like.
As to jam, the best raspberry jam you can find is what you want here. (And make sure it’s jam vs. preserves. You don’t want big chunks of fruit in your filling.)
The cookies are rich. The recipe makes only 2 dozen, but on a cookie tray, that’s more than enough.
Almond Raspberry Thumbprints
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (soft but sill ccol)
1/2 c plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten in separate small bowls
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 1/4 c flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c slivered almonds, finely chopped (not powder fine)
Raspberry jam for filling
Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract (if using), and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Shape into a ball, flatten it slightly, cover in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and let sit for about 20 minutes.
Stir together chopped almonds and the 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Set up a production line of your bowl of egg white, the nuts, and your prepared baking sheets. Using a small ice cream scoop (1-inch), scoop level amounts of dough and roll into balls. Dip balls into the egg white and then into the almond-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
Using the end of a wooden spoon or small pestle, press down the center of each ball. Make a fairly deep crater but don’t push through to the baking sheet. Fill each crater with a 1/4 teaspoon of raspberry jam.
Bake for 16 minutes until golden brown. Cool on racks.
Cookies keep 2-3 days in an airtight container.