Honestly I impressed myself.
I’ve always wanted “a cookie.” A cookie I could make at special occasions and become known for. I want friends to request this cookie, do you hear me? I’d also like to bake something more than once, because every time I have a victory in the kitchen I wonder if it was an accident. These are not an accident. These are beautiful.
After some research, and taking into account the fact that I enjoy a jammy cookie, I cobbled together a recipe for what I’m calling Cherry Cardamom Thumbprints that’s so goddamned delicious I may likely have been baking them with an angel at my side, whisking. The recipe is crafted for both ease and yield. I am a single woman living alone during a global pandemic. This recipe makes enough cookies so that you feel like you made cookies but you still don’t have too many cookies lying around. Also, they freeze. I ate two frozen ones while I wrote this.
1 cup + 3 tbsp flour (it took 15 minutes and Alexa’s help to calculate this)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature, set an alarm or something so you remember to take it out of the fridge)
1/3 cup sugar, just normal sugar
1/4 cup walnuts (or any nut) that’s been very well blitzed all to hell in a mini chopper or any sort of choppy choppy device
Cardamom to taste, I literally have no idea, I just shake some in there, maybe a teaspoon?
2 egg yolks (preferably at room temp but don’t stress if you forgot to take them out)
lil splash of vanilla (I have never measured this ingredient in my life)
big pinch sea salt
Cherry jam or preserves of any kind
-Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit or whatever that is in Celsius
-Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer but I’m sure you can do this by hand too it’ll be exercise
- Add in egg yolks and vanilla
-While that’s twirling, combine flour, cardamom, and salt in a bowl, add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients, slowly
-Scrape down the bowl sides if you need to
-Add blitzed nuts in there too
-Once everything is mixed, cover the bowl and chill your dough for one hour (dough will be pretty firm, not super sticky, if it looks REALLY dry and is not coming together, add another egg yolk)
-Roll dough into balls, roughly the size of a chocolate truffle or something, not too big, not too small
-Freeze these balls on a cookie sheet (or any way you can) for ten minutes
-Bake them at 350 for 8 minutes
-Take them out of the oven, and put a thumb print in each one (this will hurt, I’m sorry)
-Put a dollop of cherry jam in the thumbprint
-Bake them for nine more minutes
-Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, they’ll be soft and you don’t want them to fall apart
-Move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. (Seriously, get one. I use it SO MUCH.)
-Don’t eat them until they’re totally cool, this is one cookie that’s better at room temp
And that’s my cookie! They are buttery, jammy, and beautiful. The flavor is grown up but still festive and special so you feel like you stole it behind someone’s back. Enjoy, and happy holidays.
Shani Silver is a writer and podcaster based in Brooklyn who writes on Medium, frequently. *Links above are affiliate links.