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Walnut Jam Cookies
(recipe, Mona Talbott & Mirella Misenti)
These delicate thumbprint jam cookies feature the RSFP jams made from plums, apricots, and quinces that we harvest in the Bass Garden.
- 7 oz. walnuts
- 1 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sifted all-purpose flour
- ½ cup thick jam
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Spread the walnuts evenly on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes. While the nuts are still warm, transfer them to a clean tea towel. Gather the towel into a secure bundle and roll them in a circular motion to loosen and remove some of the skins.
- Transfer 3¼ ounces of the walnuts to a food processor, leaving behind the skins. Pulse the toasted nuts in the food processor with the 1 tablespoon of sugar until they are evenly chopped. Finely chop the remaining nuts by hand and set them aside in a small bowl.
- Cream the ¼ cup sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, sifted flour, and the nut-sugar mixture, and mix until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it into 40 balls, about ½ ounce each. Roll each ball in the reserved finely chopped walnuts. Use the tip of your finger to create a small depression in each cookie that later will be filled with jam.
- Place the cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to racks to cool.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, dollop each cookie with ½ teaspoon of thick jam. Serve within a few hours of baking.
Culinate editor's notes: Buy roasted, unsalted nuts and skip the home-roasting and hulling stage. If your cookie dough (basically a shortbread) doesn't come together, sprinkle a few drops of milk over it for extra moisture. Also, if you aren't planning to eat all the cookies right away, don't dress them with the jam dollops. Simply store the baked nut cookies in an airtight container, then add jam to each as needed.