The Great Cookie Experiment – Pine Nut Thumbprints

The next page in the Great Cookie Experiment project!

The Great Cookie Experiment- Pine Nut Thumbprints

Okay, I’m sorry!  I am, but I just couldn’t do it!  I know it says Pine Nuts right there in the title of the cookie, but when pine nuts are ten dollars for a teeny little bag, I just couldn’t justify the expense!  If you love pine nuts, and are willing to pay a fortune for a batch of cookies, then by all means, make them now and tell me how they taste.  Otherwise, you may want to wait until late fall and get them when they are in season.  Out here, you can buy bags of them at roadside stands during October.

So.  These are no longer Pine Nut cookies.  I substituted almonds instead, and it was a perfectly good substitution.  The thing I like about these Almond Thumbprints is that you start with a standard thumbprint type cookie dough, but THEN you mix honey and orange juice, and dip the dough into it before you roll it in the nuts.  This makes a nice citrusy glaze on the outside of the cookies, and it holds the nuts in place so they don’t just slide off when you bake them.  The thing I DIDN’T like about the cookies was the thing that I mentioned with the last article about being a jam snob.  The ONLY orange marmalade they had in my store was a cheap version that had high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient.  None of the higher quality products had an orange marmalade available, and I didn’t have the time to scour other stores to find a better product.

Even with inferior marmalade, the cookies were good.  They had a nice nutty crunch combined with a good citrus taste.  They’re also really pretty.  Everybody at game night said they were good.  They didn’t rave, however.  There were no groans of delight, and eyerolls of ecstasy.  They just said they were good.  It didn’t help that we had a birthday that night, and there was also homemade chocolate cake so people were full and didn’t want to eat cookies.  My children said they were good, but I still had cookies left by Thursday that week.  This doesn’t usually happen.  I suspect that the taste is a bit grown up for them.  This is the type of cookie you serve at a ladies luncheon, not for your Cub Scout troop.  I’m going to keep this recipe, but it’s not for every day casual cookie baking.

Pine Nut (or almond) Thumbprints

½ c butter, softened

¼ c packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp grated lemon peel (I didn’t use lemon peel.  I used orange peel, and juiced the same orange for the orange juice later.)

1 tsp vanilla

1 c all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbl honey

1 Tbl orange juice

¾ c finely chopped pine nuts (almonds)

¼ c orange marmalade

In a small bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in egg yolk, lemon peel and  vanilla.  Combine the flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  In a bowl, combine the honey and orange juice.  Dip balls into honey mixture, then roll in pine nuts (almonds).  Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.  Using the end of a wooden spoon handle (or your thumb), make an indentation in the center of each ball.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks.  Fill centers with orange marmalade.  Cool completely.  2 dozen

Pine nut cookies

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