Marsha's Thumbprints Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • Either:
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • margarine, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 15 red candied cherries, each cut in half

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg yolk in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together (dough will be very soft). Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white. Roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press a candied cherry half into the center of each cookie.

Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown (watch closely � they brown quickly!). Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack right away.

(Variations: Instead of a cherry, use a thumb to make an impression in each cookie and then bake. When the cookies are cool, fill with Nutella, colored marzipan, jelly or caramel confectionary filling.)

This is a classic recipe that my mom and I have tweaked over the years. We don't love the jelly version that most people know of, preferring instead to use candied cherries or other fruit. I also love using Nutella, marzipan or caramel but know that some regard these fillings as gilding an already lovely lily.