I have a Christmas story for you.
Once upon a time there was a lady named Angela.
She was my grandmother’s friend and one heck of a baker.
Every year around Christmas time, the two of them got together to chat, consume approximately 12.5 pots of coffee and bakebakebake.
Holy moly…the things that came out of that kitchen…
we looked forward to it every year.
That tradition ended around about the time I was discovering my love for baking…
…so I decided to attempt to keep the cookie love alive.
I had a problem, though. A big one called, “no recipes”.
The recipes for those ridiculous cookies were straight out of a home kitchen in Italy, carried over here in Angela’s head and only in Angela’s head.
We managed to scrounge up some kind of directions but I don’t know if I’d really call them recipes…
It included some measurement estimates that just could NOT be right and may as well have said “just mix some things until it looks right”
Because I had never seen the actual cookie dough…I didn’t know what looked “right”.
So the experimentation began.
((What I really mean is “challenge accepted”))
It took a couple tries….
ok a lot of tries…
and I’m STILL not 100% satisfied that this is what they did…
but I finally figured out recipes that come really close.
I’m going to show you two (I hope). This is the first.
They made the absolute best thumbprint cookies in the universe.
Nothing quite compares to what Angela and grandma made…
but I give you: my best shot.
Now comes the thumbprint part!
Make a little well with your thumb…after they’re baked we’ll fill them with jam!
Bake them, fill them, immediately pop one of these little gems in your mouth and die of happiness.
Yup, that is just the slightest hint of almond flavor.
Yep, almost a little bit salty and addicting??
Yeah, I know…they’re buttery and rich and heavenly.
Thank you, Angela. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without you.
Angela’s Legendary Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe from Angela and grandma of course
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup softened butter
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
2 egg whites (slightly beaten, set aside)
1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts
½ cup jelly or preserves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt, set aside
3. Separate your eggs and set the whites aside for rolling later
4. Beat egg yolks, butter, vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy
5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. The dough will be crumbly but it will still hold together
6. Form the dough into balls and roll each one first in the egg whites, then in the crushed walnuts
7. Place them on a cookie sheet (they don’t spread) and press your thumb into the center of each one to form a well (which will later hold jam). The cookies may crumble and crack a bit…don’t worry about it too much. If they split in half just gently press them back together…they hold together when baked.
8. Bake for10-12 minutes or until lightly browned (they may even look a little under done…careful not to over bake! The slightest browning means they’re finished baking)
9. Remove from cookie sheet while warm and fill centers with jelly.