Having had problems with in the past with bars not baking in the center (pan probably too small), I was concerned that my Apricot Almond Bars wouldn't turn out right the other day. Because I was baking them for someone else, I decided I better have a back-up plan, so I opted for Thumbprint Cookies. I figured with a crowd, that would at least give everyone a flavor option - I used raspberry jam, cherry jam, and lemon curd. Ironically, the bars turned out great, but these cookies were just OK in my book. I remember my Mom baking thumbprints a lot when I was a kid, so I'll have to find out what she uses for a recipe. But hey, I'm judging them based on what I'm used to. You might think they're the cat's meow. ;)
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 c butter
3 eggs, separated
1/4 c water
2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 c flour
1 c chopped almonds (I crushed some slices)
1 c shredded coconut
jams/jellies/curds of choice for filling
As with any cookie recipe, start by creaming together the butter and sugar until well blended and smooth.
Then add the egg yolks, water, and vanilla, followed by the flour, salt, and cinnamon.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then you can set up your assembly line ... whip your whites until frothy, and set out your jams and nuts/coconut.
Pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball, then dip it in the egg white and roll it around in either the coconut or nuts to coat the outside. Set it on the tray and press a small well into the center with your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon.
The dough is pretty soft, so I wouldn't recommend rolling all of the balls first because they'll stick to whatever you put them down on and you'll have to re-roll some, but you can roll a bunch and drop them in the egg whites together. The only reason I say that is because when I dipped my first cookie and rolled it in the almonds, I then had almonds stuck to my hand when I went back to pinch off more dough. Depending on who you're making them for and what they like, you might not want to "contaminate" your dough with almonds that might migrate into the coconut version.
Once all of your cookies are formed, bake them for about 10-12 minutes, until starting to set, then take them out of the oven. You might need to re-press some of the wells. Fill each with about a half teaspoon of filling and return to the oven until bubbly and golden (another 5-7").