These Nutty Jam Thumbprints could win a cookie contest on looks alone, but they’re just as delicious as they are pretty. The cookie is actually a Mexican Wedding Cake, also known as a Russian Tea Cake, Viennese Crescent or Snowball. Nutty and not-too-sweet, these cookies make the perfect shortbread-like base for a dollop of luscious fruit preserves. The recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich’s award-winning cookie book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy.
The most tender wedding cookies are made with superfine sugar, so begin by pulsing the granulated sugar in a food processor until it is fine and powdery.
Next, add the flour, salt and pecans.
Process the mixture until the nuts are finely ground.
Add the butter.
Then pulse until the mixture comes together.
Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
Roll the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon to press an indentation about 3/4 of the way down into the center of each ball (you could also use your thumb but a wooden spoon works much better).
Bake for 22-24 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack. Let the cookies cool slightly, then dust them generously with powdered sugar.
Now, for the fillings. You can use any jam or jelly you like. I love Bonne Maman strawberry, raspberry, four fruit or apricot. For kids or chocolate lovers, try Nutella or chocolate ganache. Fill the cookies using a tiny spoon or the tips of teaspoon handles.
That’s all there is to it. Such beauties!
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Nutty Jam Thumbprints
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups pecans
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut unto 1-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- 1/2 cup favorite jam, jelly or preserves (best quality, such as Bonne Maman)
- Put the granulated sugar in the food processor and process until it is fine and powdery, about 30 seconds. (Be sure to cover the feed tube so the powder doesn’t float out.)
- Add the flour, salt and pecans and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
- Add the butter and vanilla and process until the mixture looks damp and comes together. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
- Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Use the tip of a wooden spoon handle to press an indentation about 3/4 of the way down into the center of each ball (twist slightly to release; if the handle sticks, dip it in flour). Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until lightly colored on top and golden brown on the bottom. (If your oven cooks unevenly, rotate cookies from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through baking time.)
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Using a sieve, dust cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Use a tiny spoon or the tip of a teaspoon handle to fill with jam, jelly or preserves.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature. (For best results, add the jam after defrosting.)
- Serving size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 90
- Fat: 6 g
- Saturated fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Sodium: 26 mg
- Cholesterol: 10 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.