I usually make these around Christmas.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

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  • Separate egg, reserving egg white. Cream butter or margarine, sugar, and egg yolk.

  • Add vanilla, flour and salt, mixing well.

  • Shape dough into balls. Roll in egg white, then walnuts. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes.

  • Remove cookies from oven. With thumb, dent each cookie. Put jelly or preserves in each thumbprint. Bake for another 8 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

194.6 calories; 2.1 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 35.8 mg cholesterol; 116 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (303)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2006
I will give this 5 stars even though, as stated before, it needs some tweeking. Not super sweet, that is where the jam comes into play so take that into consideration when selecting your filling, which really makes them good. I followed the directions to the tee BUT increased the second baking time to 15 minutes which makes a big differance. I didn't raise the temp as this cookie needs to cook slow so the jam doesn't get out of control. It is skimpy so quadrupling it is my suggestion. A great christmas cookie. I didn't need to chill the dough at all. This will remain a Christmas regular. Read More
(287)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/25/2004
not very sweet....baked them for longer then specified and they still came out too soft...they crumbled easily Read More
(18)
371 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 240
  • 4 star values: 76
  • 3 star values: 21
  • 2 star values: 14
  • 1 star values: 20
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2006
I will give this 5 stars even though, as stated before, it needs some tweeking. Not super sweet, that is where the jam comes into play so take that into consideration when selecting your filling, which really makes them good. I followed the directions to the tee BUT increased the second baking time to 15 minutes which makes a big differance. I didn't raise the temp as this cookie needs to cook slow so the jam doesn't get out of control. It is skimpy so quadrupling it is my suggestion. A great christmas cookie. I didn't need to chill the dough at all. This will remain a Christmas regular. Read More
(287)
Rating: 5 stars
05/29/2008
I made these but changed two things: 1) I didn't roll them in walnuts but opted for sugar. 2) I made them miniature sized. I loved how they turned out! I will be making these again...and again...and again! Read More
(161)
Rating: 5 stars
02/13/2013
Normally I wouldn't leave a 5-star review for something I had to tweak but this cookie is SO worth it! I got 3 bakers dozen from this recipe measuring my dough about 2 tsp per cookie. USE BUTTER. I cannot stress this enough. This is a shortbread cookie. It is not sweet it will not spread it will crumble slightly if cooked properly. Also cream vanilla into butter/sugar/yolk. Most bakers already know to mix their wet then mix the dry in a separate bowl and add to wet but a novice baker might not. CHILL FINISHED DOUGH before shaping into balls. ALLOW COOKIE BALLS TO WARM to room temperature before pressing your fingerprint. Cold dough will crack and make your cookie brittle. FILL BEFORE BAKING. After cooking for 5 min my cookies had a crust that broke and left a brittle cookie with ugly bare streaks. When I pre-filled the cookies were smoother but had no coating because my daughter needed a nice looking batch for her bf. I will test this again with black sesame for good photo contrast and because it's yummy.:) BAKE FOR 15 MIN AT 300. I also lined my pan with ungreased foil it makes it easier to move to cooling rack and keeps the bottom from burning. COOL THOROUGHLY BEFORE TOUCHING. The filling is HOT. YOU WILL GET BURNED. And it's just not fun to run to the sink with jam hardening onto your skin. These would be a great project for kids over 3 to help with. Just make sure they don't poke through the bottom! Read More
(117)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/05/2009
These were very good. I changed them up just a little because I wanted the kind with icing in the "thumbprint" rather than jam (nostalgic for cookies Grandma made when I was a little girl). Then I realized I like the cookie better with more even distribution of the icing so the next batch didn't get "thumbprints" at all -- I just drizzled the icing over the little cookie balls. These were one of the best-liked cookies on my holiday trays. Read More
(94)
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2006
The only changes I made were as other members suggested: I baked 15 mins longer and didn't turn oven temp. up as jam needs time to set, I used a sweet jam - Smuckers Rasberry Jam, I used a sandwich baggie filled with jam and cut a small hole in corner to fill the thumbprint (my thumb is small so I presses deeper bigger dents because I love LOTS of jam - I pressed too hard and some of the cookies stuck to the pan). This recipe is a perfect amount for 2 people homes like mine. These cookies are exacty the way I remember them!! Thank you C. Keith for this classic cookie recipe! Read More
(83)
Rating: 4 stars
09/13/2007
very good recipe i changed it up a little though. I added 1/2 cup sugar and put crushed pecans in the cookie dough instead of the outside. I also baked them for 17 minutes at 350deg. They came out perfectly crunchy Read More
(55)
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Rating: 4 stars
11/19/2007
I make these cookies every year because my children and their spouses love them. I find them to be a lot of work; chopping the nuts up fine; rolling the dough in balls then dipping them in egg whites then nuts. I triple the recipe because my oldest son can wipe out a batch just by himself. I use almond extract in lieu of vanilla and I use the bottom of a wooden spoon to indent the cookies then I redent them after I remove them from the oven. I have never tried putting the jelly in prior to baking; perhaps I will give it a try this year. Also I use blackberry; grape; and strawberry jelly. Apple hasn't been as well received when I've used it. These are not my favorite cookies because I think they're more trouble than they are worth but I only make them once a year and my family so loves them and that is what Christmas is all about family and love. Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
12/04/2008
The only thing I do differently is I bake these at 350 for 10 min's or until light brown on the bottoms. I then cool to a wire rack and freeze until ready for the holiday. I then fill when I'm serving. Great cookie! Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
07/16/2007
I made these cookies for my family and I swear they didn't even make it 5 minutes and they were gone. They were perfect! Flaky and tender and sweet I will definitely make these again! Oh also I substituted the walnuts with almonds and pecans and used apricot white-cherry jam mmm...now I'm hungry...better make some more! Read More
(25)
Rating: 2 stars
01/25/2004
not very sweet....baked them for longer then specified and they still came out too soft...they crumbled easily Read More
(18)