Thursday, November 29, 2012


Scandinavian cookies (5)

You may know these as “thumbprint cookies,” but I’ve known them as “Scandinavian cookies” for over 50 years.  My high-school BFF’s mother made them, and that’s what she called them.  My hubby and boys called them delicious, and I could never keep enough of them.  We always made them with seedless black raspberry jam, but you may use any tart jam that suits your fancy.  I find that adding lemon zest and juice to the jam really brightens it up, so that’s just a tiny tweak I’ve made to this great recipe.

This is an old family favorite that absolutely must appear on our Christmas cookie tray.  Velvety smooth shortbread cookies with caramel undertones are encased in toasted walnuts and filled with a bright, tart jam.  I’ve already tripled the recipe for you because they’re that good.

Scandinavian Cookies
Slightly adapted from Edith Hutchins
Rating:  10 out of 10


1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft*
1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt*
3/4 cup light brown sugar 
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated 
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
about 3 cups finely ground walnuts
About 1/2 cup tart  jam (seedless boysenberry, or seedless black raspberry)
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon juice 
     *If you use salted butter, then omit the 1/4 tsp. salt.

In work bowl of food processor, pulse butter, salt and sugar till smooth and well combined.  Add egg yolks and pulse till yellow disappears.  Add flour in 3 batches, pulsing till mixture comes together in a soft dough.  Chill dough about 1 hour, or up to overnight, for easier handling.  

When ready to bake, set egg whites out for about one hour to bring them to room temperature.  (It’s near impossible to whisk a cold egg white.)  Heat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment.  Place nuts in small bowl.  Stir jam, lemon zest and juice together; spoon into resealable sandwich bag; snip a tiny piece off the corner.   Whisk egg whites with  1/4 cup warm water in small bowl. 

Using about 1 Tbsp. dough each, roll into walnut-sized balls.   
Scandinavian cookies (4)  
Dip balls of dough into egg whites, then roll in nuts.  (Two forks work well instead of fingers.
Scandinavian cookies (2) 
Place balls on cookie sheets.  Depress each ball in center (I use the back of a citrus peeler). 
Scandinavian cookies 
Fill cavities with some jam, but don’t overfill or the jam will bubble over the tops of the cookie –that looks unappetizing. 
Scandinavian cookies (6)
Bake 12-15 minutes or till cookies are set.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  While cookies are cooling, refill each cavity with jam.  (Cookies will be larger now, and you can put more jam in.) Scandinavian cookies (7)
You’ll get about 4 dozen cookies from this recipe, and, trust me, it won’t be enough! 

Today’s post is for week 10 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Brenda Thompson.  Her blog is Meal Planning Magic

Be sure and check out all of the fabulous treats the other participants came up with this week.  And, if you would like to join the hop and add your own Christmas treat recipes, just contact Brenda for details. 


Debbie said...

I've made very similar ones but I like this recipe since it comes together in a food processor. I am going to save this and try it this year for the holidays...Thanks!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a pretty cookie. I'm not much of a cookie person, but looks alone would convince me of these. Besides, I like shortbread.

Dawn said...

I love family recipes like this! These look wonderful-thanks for sharing!

Dawn said...

I love family recipes like this! Thanks for sharing!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Those look very interesting and I would love to try one. Keep well Diane

Elaine said...

These are gorgeous! Great recipe for holiday entertaining. :)

Heather Lynne said...

Jam filled cookies are not only delicious but they are so pretty too!

Coleens Recipes said...

This is picky-picky husbands all time favorite holiday cookie!!

Anonymous said...

Judy - The cookies look delicious. When I try them I'll have to change the nuts to almonds (picky husband). Family recipes are always the best. I'm a new Twitter follower.