This is the saga of a mystery and a delicious treat. The other day, I was leafing through my voluminous loose-leaf notebooks in which I keep recipes, looking for something which, of course, I couldn’t find. I try— I really do— to be organized. I have nifty dividers carefully set up and the best of intentions. The trouble is, I’m a compulsive recipe collector, and I somehow don’t keep up with my filing and my labeling. They are simply outstripped by my wanton enthusiasm for stockpiling things that “look good.”
Anyway, I stumbled upon a little sheet of paper that said this in its entirety:
Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
This recipe doubles easily.
1 C. sifted A.P. flour
1/8 t. salt
½ C. (I stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg yolk
¼ t. vanilla extract
¾ C. toasted hazelnuts (or almonds) coarsely ground (about 4 oz)
Orange marmalade or apricot jam and /or raspberry jam “
No instructions. No name. No nothing. The handwriting looked familiar so I called my sister Jo and asked for the details. She swears it’s not her recipe so I was completely on my own.
I decided right off the bat to double the recipe…I mean, really, can you imagine messing with 1/8 teaspoon of salt? So I combined 2 sticks of room temperature sugar with 2/3 cup of sugar and stirred well. I mixed in 2 egg yolks, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and then added 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 and ½ cups of Bob’s Red Mill finely ground Hazelnut meal/flour that I happened to keep stowed away in my fridge for just such moments. (By the way, this is a wonderful product and SO removes the trauma of peeling hazelnuts, which, let’s just be honest, is a huge pain. It’s expensive but worth every cent as far as I’m concerned. You can find it at Ellwood Thompson’s in Richmond…run…go get some!)
At this point, I gave the dough a good old kneading until it all came together and formed a big ball, not unlike Linzer cookie dough. I knew I should refrigerate it, but was too impatient, so just formed dear little 1 “ balls which I slammed on a cookie sheet, no parchment paper, no nothin’. Then I made a “thumb-print” indentation in each one and filled some with a little bit of apricot jam and others with a little raspberry jam. I found that it’s good to try and keep the jam in their little holes because it’s not very attractive to have bits drooling out over the sides of the cookies, though they taste just fine. I baked them at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or so, but watched them like a hawk and took them out the moment I saw the merest suggestion of brown on them. Cooled them on a rack and wow, are they yummy!
So here’s a little lagniappe from a providential perusal of my recipe stash. Thank you, whoever you are, for sharing!