Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bejeweled Thumbprint Cookies

Grandchildren certainly can wrap you around their little finger...and for me, there's no place I'd rather be with mine.  Yesterday, when we were SKYPING with Ari, he asked his PopPop, "Can you get me a new glove?"  Last week, he and his Dad had ventured outside to start practicing their pitching and catching since spring training is just about a little over a month away.  Ari apparently can't wait : )
Last Summer having fun in his backyard.

So, when I said, "would you like some cookies in the box with your new glove?"  He said, "yes, blueberry!"  I had to laugh because that's what he always asks for.  I said, "how about another kind?" and he said, "Strawberry!" This was my dilemma.  The answer I came up with was a thumbprint cookie that I could feature the many flavors of my homemade jams I made last summer.

The cookies have an intriguing flavor, using ground toasted pecans and vanilla in the dough, then topped with blueberry, strawberry, peach/mango, and raspberry jam.  I've made several versions of these cookies, sometimes, rolling them in flaked coconut or additional nuts at the holidays; those varieties were a favorite of Kelly's and Matt's.  Ari is definitely a fruit lover and I know when he opens his box he'll be just as thrilled with the cookies as he is with his new glove. 

Bejeweled Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups ground toasted pecans
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract + 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
About 1 cup of your favorite jam (I used 1/4 cup of 4 different kinds)

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Toast pecans for approximately 7 or 8 minutes.  Let cool and grind in a nut grinder or use a food processor.  If using a food processor, add 2 tablespoons of sugar with the nuts and be careful not to go too far and make pecan butter!
In the bowl of a KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the nuts, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and blend well.    Mix the dry ingredients and add to the dough, combining until well incorporated.  Divide dough into half and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 3 days.  Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and remove dough from the refrigerator.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 - inch balls.  Press your thumb into the center to make a "well" for the jam.
Fill the centers with 1/2 tsp. jam and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before removing the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
These cookies are really delightful and would be perfect with a cup of tea on a cold, snowy day.  I hope the fruit filled centers will be just what Ari ordered!  Enjoy!


  1. How cute and what a wonderful Mimi you are!
    Your always making the most mouthwatering treats, I think your little guy will be very pleased! xoxo

  2. Thumbprint cookies are my FAVORITE! I will have to try this for sure. They look delicious!

  3. my boys are baseball lovers too. they don't play baseball in australia so i had to bring back several bats and balls from the states. your a sweet grandma sending such treats.

  4. Would it be possible to make these with hazelnuts in the dough (instead of pecans) and nutella (instead of jam)? Just looking for a possible nutella spin. :o)

  5. Andrea~Absolutely and it sounds yummy!