Cookies: In the bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar
until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract
and beat until combined.
separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to
the batter and beat just until combined. If the batter is too soft to roll into
balls, refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to
350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper.
In a small
bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the finely chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Taking one
ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in
the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch (2.5
cm) apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make a indentation
into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
about 12 - 15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven
and place on wire rack to cool.
Note: To toast the nuts.
Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for
8-10 minutes (almonds, pecans and walnuts). The nuts are done when they are
light golden-brown in color and
fragrant. Toast the
hazelnuts for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and the outer skins begin to
flake. Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll
up the towel and let the nuts sit (steam) for a few minutes then rub the nuts in
the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool completely. Once
the nuts have cooled, place them in your food processor and process until finely chopped. Alternatively,
you could chop them by hand.
Note: If you are
planning to store these cookies for more than a couple of days, I like to bake them without the jam. Just
reduce the baking time by a few minutes. These cookies can be stored for about a
week. Fill the cookies will jam the same day as serving.
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The Christmas Cookie Book. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.
Susan Mahnke. The Wellesley Cookie Exchange. New York: Simon and Schuster
Desserts. Toronto: Random House, 1988.