When I was a child my mom made Thumbprint cookies every year for Christmas. Now that I'm married, I've continued the tradition and make them every year, too. The cookie dough is rolled in egg white and then some chopped nuts. Right before baking them you use your thumb and make an indent for the jelly, which is added after baking.
All is takes is one bite of these cookies and that magical, nostalgic feeling of Christmas comes to me. The same feeling I get when I smell fresh pine or hear a favorite Christmas song. The joy of Christmas is a powerful one, a time that only comes once a year.
Below is my mom's recipe for Thumbprints. She originally found the recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook.
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs, separated
2 c. flour
1 1/2 finely chopped nuts
Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Work in flour and salt until dough holds together. Shape dough by teaspoonfuls into 1 inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white; roll in nuts. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet; press thumb deeply into center of each. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from baking sheet; cool. Fill thumbprints with jelly. Store in airtight container. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.