Thumbprint Cookies Paul & Paula

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup (approximately) raspberry or blackberry jelly or jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Gradually add the flour and mix well. To assemble, lightly whip the egg whites with a fork. Place nuts in another bowl. Shape dough into 3/4 to 1-inch balls, and dip each ball in egg white and then roll in the nuts. Place l-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Use your thumb to make a deep depression in the middle of each.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm. Let cool on a wire rack. Fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of jam or jelly. Store cookies in an airtight container.

About 3 dozen

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