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Thumbprint Cookie/ Polish Tea Cakes

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Why I Love This Recipe

Recipe Contributor: Laura Cappelletti

Backstory: A wonderful cookie recipe, featured in Family Circle “Melting Pot Masterpieces” portfolio collected by Jean Anderson in 1986. This recipe – which we know better as Thumbprint Cookies – is adapted both from Family Circle and from the original in The Old Country Cookbook published by the Iron Range Interpretative Center, in Chisholm, Minnesota.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs, separated
1-1/2 t vanilla extract
2 c flour (I use a mixture of about ¾ white and ¼ whole wheat)
½ t salt
2 c ground walnuts or pecans
1 c sieved raspberry or strawberry jam (I used some homemade Catawba grape jelly)


1) Preheat oven to 325’

2) Cream butter and sugar until light and silvery with mixer; beat in egg yolk and vanilla; then stir in flour and salt.

3) Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in unbeaten egg white, then dredge in walnuts.

4) Space 2” apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press thumb into center of each cookie.

5) Bake 5 minutes. Deepen thumbprints with wooden spoon handle. Bake cookies 8 to 12 minutes longer, until pale and firm.

6) Lift cookies at once to wire racks and when cool, spoon a little jam into each thumbprint. Store cookies in airtight container, separating layers with wax paper.

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