After fall, winter is my second favorite season. There are so many wonderful things about winter – peppermint mochas and gingerbread lattes at Starbucks, holiday music, decorations, and shopping, the end of fall semester, Christmas, and the start of a new year. I even like cold, snowy weather, though it makes my hands crack, bleed, and look gross and diseased.
But my favorite thing about winter is holiday baking! I have LOTS of new recipes that I want to try, and it’s so unfortunate that I’ll be super busy the next couple of weeks with end of the semester projects and final exams. I won’t stop baking altogether though; I’ll definitely be baking every chance I get, in between writing papers and studying for tests. If I don’t, I might go crazy!
I was in Chicago over the long weekend and I ate a TON food while I was there, including Chanmi’s mom’s delicious Korean food, deep dish pizza, and frozen yogurt. I also had the most amazing cinnamon-flavored Italian cheese stuffed French toast topped with roasted apples, walnuts, raisins, powdered sugar, and a drizzle of caramel sauce for brunch on Saturday morning. I seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven – it was that good.
You would think that after stuffing myself with loads of food for the past 3 days, that I would at least try to make some light and healthy meals. But no, of course I had to bake. I actually didn’t eat as much dessert as I usually do while I was in Chicago, and I was craving some sweets! So I made a batch of thumbprint cookies. These actually aren’t my favorite cookies (I prefer thick, chewy cookies with lots of chocolate!), but yesterday, I was in the mood for them.
I like this version of thumbprint cookies best – with almond extract and raspberry jam. But sometimes I like to change them up by using vanilla extract, different flavors of jam, or even nutella. Mmm…nutella. I could eat a whole jar of that stuff! Anyways, I only made a half batch of thumbprints yesterday, since I was feeling a little guilty about my weekend of excessive indulgence. I’m totally regretting it now, though – the cookies are all gone already!
Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Source: adapted from allrecipes
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toasted, finely chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds (optional)
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and almond extract and beat until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Place chopped nuts in a shallow bowl.
5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Dip each ball into egg whites, roll in nuts, and place on parchment lined baking sheet spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. With your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
6. Place jam in a small plastic Ziploc bag and seal it. Cut off one corner of the bag and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the center of each cookie.
7. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool one minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.