Almond Thumbprints

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
1 cup sugar 
2 egg yolks 
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (optional) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/4 cups toasted slivered almonds, chopped, divided 
No-stick cooking spray 
About 1/2 cup apricot or raspberry preserves 
Powdered sugar (optional)

In mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks, lemon peel (if desired), vanilla, almond extract and salt; beat well. Mix in flour and 1/4 cup of the almonds until blended. Gather into a ball; cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Shape dough to form 1-inch balls; roll into remaining 1 cup almonds to coat lightly. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Using your thumb or a wooden spoon handle, make a depression in each cookie. Fill each with scant 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Servings: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Note: To toast almonds, bake on baking sheet in 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until light brown, stirring once or twice. Almonds will continue to brown slightly after removing from oven. 

2001 California Almond Board Copyright

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