31 December 2014

Walnut  Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas in our house means a big batch of my sister-in-law Marge's walnut thumbprint cookies, a recipe handed down from her Aunt Helen back in the 1950s. They don't last long, so it's a good idea to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

For roughly two dozen cookies you need: 

3/4 cup (72 grams) finely ground walnuts (whacking them in a little mixer works fine; set aside)

1/2 cup  (227 grams) soft butter

1/4 cup (55 grams)  packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk (save the white in a bowl)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 (128 grams) cup all purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 (190C), gas mark 5, Moderate) degrees 

Mix together the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Then add the flour and salt and mix. The dough should be fairly thick and a bit sticky.

Beat egg white(s) with a fork. Grease your baking sheet.

Form the dough into balls about an inch across; roll in the egg white and then in the ground walnuts. They should look something like this:

After five minutes, remove from oven and put a thumbprint in the centre of each cookie. Do it quickly so you don't burn your thumb.

They should end up looking like this:

Bake for about 8 minutes more or until they take on some colour. Cool on a wire rack or dish towel, then spoon out thick dabs of butter creme frosting (butter, powered (icing) sugar, vanilla and milk, and food colouring) in the thumbprint. You could also use jam, or melt chocolate into them. Then watch them disappear!

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