Walnut Thumbprint Cookies

I absolutely love ground nuts in cookies and one of my favorite nuts to bake with are walnuts. Unlike other nuts, walnuts are earthy and slightly bitter, so they add a little more complexity to cookie recipes. They are also full vitamins and minerals and high in polyunsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Adding ground walnuts to cookies is a good way to make them more healthy and this is a great and delicious recipe that is popular with both kids and adults. I took a traditional thumbprint cookie and gave it a nutty make-over by adding ground walnuts to the cookie dough and using homemade strawberry jam for the filling. It is a beautiful marriage of nuttiness and tartness.

As with most of my sweet recipes, this one has 1/3 less sugar than traditional cookie recipes. My kids can’t tell the difference, not to mention they make me feel less guilty when I eat them! If you like, you can substitute the the ground walnuts with ground hazelnuts when hazelnuts are in season. Happy baking!

Walnut Thumbprint cookies

Yield: About 2 dozen

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of ground toasted walnuts or toasted hazelnuts*
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Strawberry, raspberry, or apricot jam

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the two flours, baking powder and kosher salt. Set aside.

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2. In a stand mixer, add the ground nuts, butter, and sugars and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until fluffy.

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3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until blended.

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4. Lower the speed to the lowest setting. Slowly add the flour mixture. Blend until just combined.

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5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours (can be refrigerated up to 2 days).

 

6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

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7. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, portion out the dough so that all 24 scoops are even. Roll them into balls.

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8. Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, press in the center of each ball to create an indentation.

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9. Add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite jam in the center of each cookie dough.

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10. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

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