Thursday, April 17, 2008

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

In an effort to bring something for everyone to my in-laws for Passover (because not everyone likes cheesecake, including myself), I decided to attempt...the cookie. For those loyal readers of my blog, you know that "the cookie" and I have a history. Basically, they never come out right. They don't spread when they are supposed, they spread when they aren't supposed to...its a never-ending battle.

These cookies were a HIT. Gobbled up. Gone. I doubled the recipe, which should have yielded 48 cookies. I got 42, so I guess some were bigger than others.

3/4 cup sliced raw almonds, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup matzo cake meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup apricot jam

Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. (Be careful not to grind to a paste.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter, egg, and extracts until combined well. Chill dough, covered, until firm, about 30 minutes.

While dough chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Drop level tablespoons of dough 1 inch apart onto 2 ungreased baking sheets. Roll dough into balls, then chill until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Make a 1/2-inch-wide (1/3-inch-deep) indentation in center of each ball using your thumb, index finger, or the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jam and bake, 1 sheet at a time, until tops are pale golden and undersides are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days.

Yields 48 cookies.

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