These cookies have a bit of crunch from the finely chopped pecans, sweetness from the almond extract, and richness from the butter. But it's the thumbprint impressions on top that give them a personal touch. Strawberry and peach jams make beautiful jewel-colored fillings, but you can use other Southern favorite jams, such as blackberry, muscadine, or apple. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids – let them make the thumbprints and choose the filling.
Oxmoor House OCTOBER 2009
1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks and almond extract, beating until blended.
2. Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Cover and chill dough 1 hour.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Lightly beat egg whites. Dip each dough ball in egg white; roll in pecans. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press thumb in each dough ball to make an indentation.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets, and remove to wire racks to cool completely. Press centers again with thumb while cookies are still warm; fill center of each cookie with jam.
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