I Heart Cookies

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

Okay, well, it’s jam technically, but I still don’t think you’re ready for it!

Valentine’s Day will shortly be upon us. For once, I’m on top of my game and have prepared things in advance in order to share before the day actually comes. I realize it doesn’t do anyone much good to post a good recipe or a fun craft after the event that the project was for… so let’s get going!

These little gems are known as thumbprint cookies and they are a classic Christmas cookie in my family. My great grandmother always used to make them and my older sister has taken over the task of doing so in the past few years. I was trying to think of a delicious but different treat to share for Valentine’s Day, I remembered the way the raspberry jam looks in these and thought they’d be pretty cute in the shape of hearts.

I hate to rub it in, but I was totally right.

These cookies aren’t as easy as your everyday cookie, don’t get me wrong, they’re not super challenging either, just maybe a little more time consuming (preparation wise) than average.

Thumbprint Cookies

yields: roughly 12 cookies

½ cup unsalted butter (softened, not melted)
¼ cup  sugar
1 large egg (separate the yolk and white)
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
⅛ tsp salt
¾ cup  finely chopped nuts (I used almonds but you can use hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts)
¼ – ½ cup  jam (I used raspberry but you can use any flavor you chose)

First you’ll want to toast your nuts. My almonds were thinly sliced already, so I kind of lucked out when it came time to chop. You can toast any nut by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking at 350° for about 8-10 minutes. Once they’ve cooled you can chop them up by hand or do it in a machine, whichever you prefer.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, mix well. In a separate bowl mix the flour and salt, then combine the two sets of ingredients. Roll the batter into small balls, If the batter is too soft, refrigerate it for about a half hour to an hour.

Here’s where I go off of the recipe and shape the balls into little hearts. Don’t worry about them being perfect, they’re going to be covered in nuts anyway.

Remember when you separated that egg? Now’s when you will use the white. Whip it up to a nice and frothy state before dipping your hearts (or balls) in. Have your chopped nuts spread out on a cutting board, mat or plate, ready to go.

Now take a finger, I found my pinky fit nicely, and push into the dough to make a little heart shaped bowl for the jam. You could also use the end of a wooden spoon, but honestly, your hands will already be coated in nuts so I say just go for it.

Once your bowl is complete, fill it up with jam.

Bake these little beauties for 12-15 minutes or until they’ve firmed up and the nuts are golden brown, place them on a wire rack to cool.

You know how much I love versatile food? That’s half of the beauty of these little cookies! You can chose any flavor jam you’d like, heck, you could even cut up your own little fruit bits and throw them in there too. I decided to not put nuts on some of them because Tyler doesn’t like them in cookies (freak), otherwise the variety of nut that you can choose from is an added bonus as well. Mix walnuts and an apple jam, pecans and pear, hazelnut and blueberry… the possibilities are endless!

Final Step: Enjoy to your heart’s content!

UPDATE (February 9, 2013):  I made the top ten!

csi projectsubmitted for The CSI Project’s weekly challenge


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