25 September 2012

Black Cherry Thumbprints in Almond Dust

... self-portrait with teapot ...

Need I say more? The perfect tea time treat ... we 're having ours with a pot of classic Earl Grey.

Black Cherry Thumbprints in Almond Dust



1 c. softened butter (2 sticks)
⅔ c. granulated sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites in a small bowl)
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. kirschwasser (cherry schnapps)

For topping:

½ c. almonds, whizzed to fine dust in the blender
Egg whites and ½ tsp. water whisked to a foamy liquid
½ to ¾ c. black cherry preserves, chilled

Making the Cookies:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Whip the softened butter and sugar until the sugar is just barely holding its granulated state.
  3. Add the egg yolks and whip to make a bright yellow creamy mass.
  4. By hand, mix in the flour until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Sprinkle on the vanilla and kirschwasser and mix with your hands until the dough forms a smooth ball.
  6. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Break off chunks of dough and squeeze and roll to make small balls the size of a walnut. Roll all the balls at once, placing about 20 per cookie sheet.
  8. Place the almond dust in a small bowl alongside the bowl of foamy egg white wash.
  9. Dip each cookie ball halfway up in the egg wash, roll in the almond dust and place dusty side up on the cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with your hand.
  10. When all the cookies are dipped and rolled and flattened, use the round handle end of a wooden spoon to make a shallow indentation in the top center of the cookies. I twist the handle gently while using my free hand to pinch any cracks around the edge of the cookies closed as best I can.
  11. Bake the cookies for 15 to 16 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
  12. Remove before the cookies brown. They should just be starting to take on a golden look an should still be quite soft.
  13. Let them cool on the cookie sheets for several minutes. Then, transfer them to pretty  plates and spoon a dollop of black cherry preserves into the indentations.
  14. Store loosely covered with plastic wrap or a huge plastic bowl lowered over the plate.


  1. beautiful... and I love seeing you in the reflection of the teapot!!

  2. Your photos, recipes, everything about your blog whispers 'home' to me. Can I come to live with you?

  3. Not an Earl Grey fan, British Breakfast please, but those cookies look awesome.

  4. Thumbprint cookies are always so delicious. I bet the black-cherry preserves taste s delicious. Although I like Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast tea is my favorite.

  5. Gosh Susan! look at those - I love the idea of the almond dust. And how lovely with a pot of English breakfast. When are you visiting DC so we can share a cuppa (along with other goodies?)

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. So lovely! You had me at almond dust, actually, but the kirsch sealed the deal!

    1. And believe it or not, these little cookies got better after a day covered and set aside ... something about the kirsch and vanilla melding and doing a moisture thing with the shortbread base ... they would be excellent for making at Christmastime when you're making a bunch of different types of cookies for gifting ...

  7. Earl grey is my absolute favourite tea and I am a huge fan of thumbprints. This is a perfect way to break up the afternoon.

  8. I love this picture with the reflection in the teapot! I'd like to use it this week for my chat around the table thingame and link back to your post, recipe -n- all!! I love it!!

    1. Be my guest, Laura ... thanks for the nod!


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