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Pistachio Linzer Thumbprints
© Monica Buck

Pistachio Linzer Thumbprints


Thumbprint cookies are a tradition in Melissa Murphy's family. She and her sister would take turns with their thumbs and happily fill the cookies with way too much jam.

  1. 2 cups roasted unsalted pistachios (10 ounces)
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 sticks (1/2 pound) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  8. 2 large eggs, separated
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  11. 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  12. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. In a food processor, grind 1 cup of the pistachios until coarsely chopped; transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 1 cup of pistachios to the processor along with 1/2 cup of the flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the remaining 11/2 cups flour along with the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest and pulse until the dough begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate until firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Roll scant tablespoons of the dough into 1-inch balls. Dip the balls in the beaten whites, then roll them in the chopped pistachios. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. With a floured finger, make an indentation in the center of each. Chill the cookies until firm.
  4. Using a small spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip, fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of the jam. Bake the cookies in the lower half of the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden; shift the pans halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets.
  5. Sift confectioners' sugar over the cookies. Using a moistened finger or soft brush, tap the center of each cookie so that the jam shines through the sugar.
Make Ahead The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.