Christmas Cookie-palooza: Raspberry hazelnut thumbprints.

This basic butter cookie dough is incredibly versatile: roll it out and cut it into shapes, form it into a log and slice (a better-for-you version of the slice ‘n’ bake cookies you’ll find in the grocery refrigerated case), or do as I’ve done here and form it into balls rolled in chopped nuts with a nubbin of raspberry jam. Flavor it with grated orange or lemon peel, poppy seeds or almond extract if you’d like.

These Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies are quick to put together, and they store well at room temp for a few days or in the freezer for the month of December. Plus, they’re just pretty. At this time of year, when we’re all baking our brains out (you are too, aren’t you?), it’s nice to have something that doesn’t require much fuss but yields a tasty and eye-catching result.

raspberry hazelnut thumbprint cookie recipe

makes 4 dozen

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (or almonds or pecans, or any of the above)

Preheat oven to 350°; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Blend in egg and egg yolk, then stir in vanilla. Stir in flour and salt to blend completely. Scoop teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball in chopped nuts to coat, arrange on baking sheets. Press your thumb deeply in the center of each ball; fill indentations with jam (use two espresso spoons to make this easy). Bake until pale golden, about 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cookies slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Cookie-palooza: Raspberry hazelnut thumbprints.

  1. These are my all time favorites. And my mom stopped making them. This is my hit to start making myself.