While visiting a street market in Brazil, I came across the most beautiful guava paste I had ever seen. It looked like fresh red guava with its own bright tropical personality. So why not add some Brazilian flair to an American classic—thumbprint cookies?
They’re balls of buttery dough rolled in finely chopped nuts, flattened in the center with your thumb (a perfect job for kid-sized thumbs) and then, once baked, filled with jam, chocolate—or guava paste. What do you fill your thumbprint cookies with?
Read Related: Eva Longoria’s Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe
GUAVA THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Makes: About 60 cookies
2 cups (210g) lightly toasted walnuts
1¾ cup (250g) cups flour
2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (112g) sugar
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP almond extract
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
1 cup guava paste
Few drops of lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats.
- Place walnuts in the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
- Working with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add extracts and beat to blend. Reduce speed to low, and add nut-flour mixture, scraping sides of bowl, mixing only until it is incorporated into dough.
- Roll a teaspoon of dough between palms of your hand to form small balls and place them 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Using pinkie of your hand or end of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie, taking care not to go all the way through. Bake for 15 to18 minutes, until slightly colored, rotating sheets halfway. (They may look under done, which is fine, but don’t over bake them.)
- Remove baking sheets from the oven, and let cool for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks. When cool, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar.
- Place guava paste in saucepan and add a few drops of water to melt paste to consistency of jam. Add a few drops of lemon juice to balance sweetness (optional). Fill cookies while jam is still warm, so it hardens inside cookies. Fill indentations of all cookies with warm guava jam. Cool to room temperature.
This recipe was originally published in The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook (Kyle Books/2010).