Just for her, I am baking another batch.
Hazelnut Thumbprint CookiesYield: 20 cookiesIngredients:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, ground
- 2 T confectioner's sugar
- Raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Put butter and ½ cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low.
- Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Stir together toasted hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar in a small bowl until well-mixed.
- Break off small pieces of the chilled dough and roll into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in hazelnut-sugar mixture, coating well.
- Space the cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- Press down center of each ball with your thumb.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven; press down centers again with a spoon or your thumb if you have asbestos hands.
- Return to oven. Bake cookies until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks.
- Fill each center with jam.
- Silpat mats. I used to think that parchment paper was the key to perfect cookies and rolls until I burned a batch of crescent rolls that had been placed on parchment paper covered one of my "well-seasoned" cookie sheets. Even two layers of parchment can't keep things from burning on a dark sheet.
Then I tried those air-insulated sheets, but didn't like the way that they had no lip to speak of.
I finally broke down and bought a Silpat mat and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to bake.
- Filling: People always seem to scream for strawberry or raspberry filling, but honestly my favorite is black currant.
I bet if you changed the extract to almond extract, replaced the hazelnuts with ground almonds, and used cherry preserves, you'd have one damn-good cookie.
Wow. That is almost worth a trip to the store for cherry preserves!