As children we each had our favorite cookies to make, this was traditionally one of my brothers’ to bake but once grown up I continued to make it, ‘cause they are addictively tasty. I love it made with apricot jam, you can used chopped slivered almonds instead of walnuts for that version. But, any flavor good quality jam will work, pick what you like. I used two flavors this time; homemade peach jam and some store bought but excellently flavored raspberry jam. Like getting two cookies out of one batch of dough.
Last Christmas a dear friend gave me a new cookbook “Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies” by Ellen Brown. I have tried several recipes and all were fantastic. This is out of it, I swapped the candied red and green cherries for jam, but you can go old school and use those freaky candied cherries.
Jam and Walnut Thumbprints
1 ½ cup white rice flour
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter cut into thin slices
1 lg egg
1 tbsp. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup jam; raspberry, peach, strawberry
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl food processor, steel blade, blend briefly. Add butter to work bowl and process off an on until it resembles coarse meal.
Combine egg, milk and vanilla in a small bowl; whisk. Drizzle into the work bowl, pulse about 10-12 times until it forms a stiff dough. If it doesn’t come together, add more milk a tsp. at a time. I added a tsp. more of milk to get the dough to form up.
Chill the dough for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put racks in the middle of the oven. Place chopped walnuts in a wide shallow bowl and roll 1 1/2 inch balls of dough. Roll them in the chopped walnuts, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press an indent in with a finger and fill with about ½ tsp. jam. Bake 14-15 minutes, until just firm but not browned. They will be very delicate to the touch. Let cool 2-3 minutes on sheet before carefully moving them to a cooling rack using a metal pancake turner. I bumped a couple and they just fell apart on the sheet; very fragile while hot. They will solidify once they cool. I store mine in cookie tins or Tupperware containers. They won’t last as long as wheat cookies but they get snapped up fast so that shouldn’t be a problem. I supposed you could freeze them for a week or two if necessary.
They are not too sweet and so delicate, great with a cup of tea or coffee. As good, if not better, then when I made them with all purpose wheat flour 2 years ago before I had to go gluten free. Your family will be amazed that they are gf, no one you serve them to will ever guess. Totally tasty and fun to make with your kids! Enjoy.
PS: my sisters who both eat gluten/wheat loved these cookies and ate a whole bunch this past weekend! In fact, our lunch dessert Sunday was a big plate of homemade Christmas cookies, all gluten free and there were only 3 cookies left once everyone had all they wanted.