Italian Thumbprint Cookies

You’ll Need:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. butter (firm but not cold)
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, separated
1 c. unsalted pistachios, shelled and chopped
1/2 c. strawberry preserves
4 oz. melted white chocolate


How To:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whip together butter, sugar, and vanilla until mixture is pale and fluffy.  Blend in egg yolks (save whites for later).  Slowly pour in flour and mix until combined.  The mixture should seem dry at first,  but it will come together.  Form the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Whisk egg whites with 2 teaspoons of water until frothy.  Place the chopped pistachios in a small bowl.

Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and scoop dough up 1 tablespoon at a time and shape into little balls.  Drop each ball into the egg white mixture, then roll in pistachios, leaving one side nut-free.  Transfer the balls to a parchment paper-covered baking sheet (you shoulder be able to fit 15 on each sheet).

Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie, and fill that indentation with a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Allow to rest on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack (placed on top of several paper towels) to cool.

To melt white chocolate, place in a double boiler and still over medium high heat until it thins.  White chocolate will not get completely liquidated, so you may have to settle for a slightly thick mixture.  Using a spoon or knife, drizzle oven cookies.  The paper towels beneath the rack should catch all excess drips.  Try to keep the drizzle thin instead of dropping spoonfuls on the cookies!

Store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes: 15 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Calories: 327

The original – and almost unchanged – version of this recipe comes from CookingClassy.  These cookies are delicious, and I don’t even like pistachios.  My only problem with them – and this has nothing to do with this recipe – is that I am utterly unable to make jam thumbprints.  The cookies always turn out very dry for me, so in order to shape them, I add a little water to the batter.  While this suffices, it makes it very sticky and if you try to press a thumbprint in them, the cookies fall apart.  And forget rolling them in pistachios!  Typically, I press my thumb into the cookie and shape around it, then just swirl the bottom half of the cookie in the pistachios.  This means that the cookies are huge and more often than not, the jam drizzles out while cooking.  However, drizzling the white chocolate makes them look pretty again, and as I said, they are absolutely delicious.  I gave them to my parents and brother this year for Christmas, and they loved them! – originally tested 12/22/13

Adapted from CookingClassy.