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.


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



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


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


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.


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



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.



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


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



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