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Apricot Buttons

James Carrier
Yield Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Tita Owre writes that her mother's apricot buttons were more than just a Christmas cookie — they were an essential part of every family celebration. Whirl the walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground, or chop very finely with a knife. The buttons are also great filled with raspberry jam.

Ingredients

  • About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground walnuts (see note)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Nutrition Information

  • calories 135
  • caloriesfromfat 57 %
  • protein 1.8 g
  • fat 8.6 g
  • satfat 3.6 g
  • carbohydrate 13 g
  • fiber 0.5 g
  • sodium 91 mg
  • cholesterol 26 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and the sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in flour and salt and beat just until dough comes together.

  2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites to blend. Place walnuts in another small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each in egg whites, turning to coat completely, then roll in walnuts to coat. Place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Press your thumb gently into the center of each cookie to make an imprint.

  3. Bake cookies in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

  4. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jam into the center of each cool cookie.

  5. Nutritional analysis per cookie.