This is one of my favorite cookies ever. My mom always made these for the family growing up and because of that, I like to call this cookie one of the classics. These cookies are nice and buttery with the perfect amount of sweetness from the jam. They are so delicious but as much as I love them, they are a bit time consuming to produce. However, the labor is definitely worth it! These cookies got their names because you are suppose to make a thumb imprint into the dough and fill the indent with jam or preserve. My family is a fan of the jam so we make our imprints much bigger than what the name calls for. That's one of the greatest thing about baking, if there is something you don't like, you can always find a way to change it. Also, many recipes of this cookie use strawberry or grape jam. Although both of those are good choices, nothing beats apricot preserves.
compliments of Sunset Cookies Cookbook
1 cup butter, soften
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
3-4 tablespoons apricot preserves or any jelly/jam
1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy with electric mixer.
3. Separate eggs. Place whites in a small bowl, lightly beat, and set aside. Beat yolks and vanilla into butter mixture.
4. In another bowl, stir together flour and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, blending thoroughly.
To shape cookies:
1. Set up an assembly line: dough, whisked egg whites, chopped walnuts, greased cookie tray
2. With your hands, roll dough into balls about one inch in diameter
3. Dip each ball into the egg whites, then roll in finely chopped walnuts to coat one inch apart
4. With your thumb or tip of a spoon, make an indentation in the center of each ball
5. Neatly fill each indentation with about 1/4 tsp preserve/jam/jelly (This will vary depending on how big you make your indentation - each of my cookies had more than 1/4 tsp.)
6. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about a minute, then transfer to racks and let cool completely.
Yield: 3-1/2 dozen