These buttery pecan cookies are a holiday classic and a lot of fun to make with kids, who will love pressing their thumbs into the cookies to form the indentations. When the cookies are baked, the jam becomes firm and chewy and the nuts turn toasty. If you like, substitute your favorite jam flavor for the blackberry.
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at cool room
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) blackberry jam
Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until the yolk is completely incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Put the pecans in a small bowl. Scoop up a rounded tablespoonful of the dough and roll between your palms into a ball. Lightly roll the ball in the pecans to coat completely and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Using a thumb, press an indentation about 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep in the center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 tsp. of the jam into each indentation. Bake until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Makes about 20 cookies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).