Thursday, March 14, 2013

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints
photo from
My mother in law made these the other night and raved about how good they were. She didn't have any jam, so she just cut up some fresh strawberries and mixed them with a little sugar for the filling. If I had any fresh strawberries on hand I would have tried it her way, because it sounds heavenly. As it was, I used my mom's homemade plum jam (made from the plums off her tree) and my homemade blueberry preserves. They are outstanding, and completely addictive. Seriously, if you don't want to eat the whole batch by the end of the day you better give them away or have someone hide them for you. (Hiding them myself never seems to work, because I always go and dig them out of their hiding place anyway.)
As you can see, mine are no where near as pretty as the professionally done ones pictured above. But I know they tasted just as good!
  This was a late night craving (hence the dark photos) and a last minute whim, so I don't have any step by step instructions. But I didn't want to let another day go by without sharing them with you. These are wonderfully crisp, flaky and deceptively light in texture. The jam or fruit filling gives a nice sweetness and tang that perfectly offsets the buttery cookie. The almond glaze puts the cookie over the top. If you've never had a shortbread thumbprint cookie you should definitely try these!

Here's the recipe:
from Rasberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

(Raspberry) Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup salted softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted nuts (walnuts or pecans work best), chopped finely (optional)
1/2 to 1/3 cup jam (or fresh fruit minced with a little sugar)

1 cup powdered sugar 
2 to 3 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Combine softened butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour (and nuts if using); beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. (I didn't do this because my batter was already pretty firm. It will depend on how soft your butter was.)
Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (I used my smallest scoop - about 1 1/4 inch across). Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam. (My bigger cookies took 1/2 tsp of jam.) Bake 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. (Mine only took 12 minutes, so keep an eye on them!) Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine all glaze ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. 

Makes 34-42 cookies depending on size. (Original recipe says 42, but I only got 34.)

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