There are some times when you feel like experimenting and then there are times when you just want to know that a recipe is perfectly reliable and meets all your expectations. This is one of those recipes.
This is a fabulous cookie from Joanne Chang, owner of Flour bakery café in Boston’s South End and author of three cookbooks. In the last few years, she’s expanded to four bakeries throughout Boston. Baking with Less Sugar is her latest cookbook. Needless to say, she's earned quite a reputation.
This is a simple cookie dough infused with the flavor and texture of toasted pecans and brightened with a small dollop of raspberry jam. The cookie is crisp and light. The tart jam acts as a delicious foil for the butter and nuts. I fudged a bit on the preparation by mixing the dough in a food processor rather than using the creaming method in a stand mixer. If you’d rather follow Joanne’s precise directions, just follow the link below to the original recipe.
These cookies are really wonderful. I love the combination of nuts and raspberries and this cookie does a great job of promoting both. They’re delicate and crumbly with just a hint of sweetness. This is a recipe you’ll definitely want to promote to your favorites list, not only handy for the holidays but available whenever you’re in the mood for a super delicious bite.
- Joanne Chang’s weights for flour, pecans and powdered sugar are very different from mine. I went with all her formulations and those are presented in the recipe below, with the weights first.
- Toast pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
- I use a measuring 1/2 teaspoon to make the “thumbprint.” That makes them pretty uniform and perfect for the 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
- This recipe makes a lot of cookies. I got about a dozen more than the 4 dozen the recipe states. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 - 4 days. They will soften over time because of the jam filling. They are still delicious but if you want crisp cookies, I recommend making a half batch.
Pecan Thumbprint Jam Cookies
adapted from Joanne Chang at Fine Cooking
Makes about 60 cookies
14 1/4 oz (3 cups + 2 tablespoons) flour
6 oz (1 1/2 cups) pecans, toasted
3 oz (1 cup) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Place the flour, pecans, powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground. Cut the butter into 1/2” pieces and add along with the vanilla. Process until the dough begins to form clumps around the blade.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4” balls and set them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press your measuring 1/2 teaspoon or your thumb gently into the middle of each ball to make a well for the jam. Stir the jam to loosen it and then spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into the wells.
Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 17 - 20 minutes. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool.