Christmas isn't official until I've had one of my mom's thumbprint cookies. Now, with the luxury of being an adult, I have customized them with pistachios and some strawberry jam from my canning pantry. It's delicious as it's festive and delicious. If pistachios aren't your thing then try it with almonds or walnuts.
Its exciting to know these cookies are completely from scratch; from picking the local organic strawberries in May for the jam to the farm fresh eggs from a neighbour. I can't wait to eat these.
Pistachio Thumbprints with Strawberry Jam
2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup raw unbleached sugar (or white refined, or brown, the brown will make it taste different)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste
2 cups all purpose flour
half of a lemon finely zested
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of chopped pistachios
1/2 cup of your favourite jam, I used home made strawberry vanilla jam.
Makes around two dozen large cookies, or 5 dozen "toonie" sized cookies. (Now you know this is Canadian content :P)
Preheat oven to 300. I chose to use convection but you don't have to.
Place silpat mat on cookie sheet or greased cookie sheet.
Separate egg whites from yolks. Set the whites aside.
Cream butter with sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and yolks with a mixer.
Mix flour and salt together.
Combine butter and flour mixes together mixing as little as possible to produce a more tender cookie.
Shape dough into balls - I made mine around the size of a walnut because I like a cookie with substance. It's nice to make smaller ones for a tea party or holiday giving.
Roll balls into egg whites, then into the chopped pistachios on a shallow plate.
Press a dent into each pistachio ball and carefully fill with your favourite jam with a small teaspoon. You can also put the jam in a ziplock bag, cut the tip off and pipe it in if you wish.
Arrange balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet as they do expand a little bit.
Bake for 13 minutes or until you see the nuts start to turn golden brown. Jam may bubble a little, and cookie should just be starting to show hints of turning brown along the bottom.