Almond Thumbprint Cookies

As we head into the autumn months, two things are inevitable: firstly, it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter but secondly, The Great British Bake Off is back. And what better way to make the most of both of these occasions that getting into the kitchen for a spot of baking! I think my Almond Thumbprint Cookies are the perfect little quick but delicious bake to not only scratch that baking itch but get any young children into baking!

Thumbprint cookies are these lovely little holiday cookies characterised by their shallow crater in the centre which holds delicious jam, traditionally raspberry jam. These cookies originate in Sweden, where they are called hallongrotta which translates to ‘raspberry cave’.

The cookie itself is a fairly standard cookie recipe, slightly sweeter than a traditional shortbread, just as tender and melt in the mouth but richer with the addition of an egg yolk. The cookies are shaped into balls, rolled in egg white which helps the cinnamon almond sugar mixture stick to the cookie. Then the indent is made on the baking tray, baked before filling the centre with a good amount of raspberry jam and baking until set.

If you cannot eat almonds, or cannot find ground almonds, you can replace the coating with desiccated coconut. As the cookies bake, the coconut toasts and becomes super fragrant – and raspberry and coconut are already a classic pairing! In my initial test of the recipe, I used only 25g sugar and 25g ground almonds for the coating, found this was only enough for 16 cookies and rolled the rest in coconut! You will need around 70g desiccated coconut if you are replacing the almond mixture.

Check out some of my other recipes that use nuts:

Chocolate Hazelnut Battenberg Cake

Passionfruit Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

Teatime Malted Milk Cake

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Stuffed Cookies

For the cookie dough:

  • 115g margarine
  • 90g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g plain flour

For the coating and filling

  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat well to combine. Add in the plain flour and bring the mixture together until it forms a ball of dough which is soft but not sticky.

In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the sugar, the ground almonds and the cinnamon. In another small bowl, whisk the egg white until it is frothy.

Weigh out 20g portions of the dough and roll into a ball. Dip each ball into the egg white, allowing the excess to drip off and roll the dough in the almond mixture. Place the cookie onto the baking tray. Repeat for the remaining dough. Using the tip of your thumb, or finger, make an indent in the centre to hold the jam; the dough will crack, this is expected.

Bake the cookies for around 10 minutes until the cookies begin to turn a light golden brown. If the thumbprint has closed up slightly, press down on the indentation again carefully. While the cookies are baking, mix the raspberry jam in a small bowl to loosen. After the first bake, spoon the indents with jam, being careful not to overfill.

Return the cookies to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool fully.

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