These cookies have a bit of crunch from the finely chopped pecans, sweetness from the almond extract, and richness from the butter. 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.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup peach jam
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 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.
- Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Cover and chill dough 1 hour.
- 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.
- 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.