My family has many Holiday traditions, some new and some that go back through generations.
One of our favorite and longest-standing is the annual yum of Thumbprint Cookies.
I remember helping my mother make them when i was very small, and my children grew up helping me. When my oldest daughter spent the Holiday season in Italy during college, her one request from home was for a tin of these favored treats. My youngest daughter agrees -- it's just not Christmas if there aren't any Thumbprints!
This is an unusual cookie recipe -- It contains equal amounts of ground nuts and flour, giving them a wonderful texture. There isn't much sugar to the recipe, and no eggs or leavening products. Trust me; none of this is a typo!
They bake on low heat and will come out of the oven looking very much like they did when they went in.
But my oh my! Very rich, nutty and flaky; they are sure to become a favorite with anyone who tries them!
So Merry Christmas -- my gift to you is this wonderful family recipe... enjoy!
1 Cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup finely ground walnuts or pecans (I use walnuts)
For filling; chocolate chips, apple jelly
Combine and set aside:
Cream together in Large Mixing bowl or food processor:
after these are well blended, add vanilla and stir just long enough to mix it in.
Add dry ingredients, 1/2 at a time, mixing well between halves. Add nuts and continue working the batter until you have a firm ball and a clean bowl.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300f
Spoon off teaspoon-sized chunks from the batter ball and roll into small balls, about the size of a large marble. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart.
Make an indentation with your thumb and fill with chocolate chips or a small bit of apple jelly. (For a festive holiday look, the apple jelly can be dyed red or green with food coloring -- I'm a purist and prefer the natural gold color.)
Cool for several minutes before removing from cookie sheet with a spatula. Cool completely before eating.
How many you get depends on how big you roll them -- I get about 2 1/2 dozen per batch, and I always make several batches! (Multiple batches should be prepared separately and not combined for 1 larger batch.)
This is a cookie that benefits from being made ahead of time, as they are even better after sitting in a tin or covered container overnight!