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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cheddar Jelly Thumbprints

I've made several variations on this recipe, swapping in and out different cheeses and different jellies, over several years.  My personal favorites are the sharp-cheese/spicy-jelly combinations but a milder, sweeter colby-apple jam version won me a 2nd place ribbon (and 3 lbs of butter) at the State Fair last year.  Feel free to play with flavors here!

I've served these as appetizers and desserts, and they prep ahead (and even freeze) fabulously.  Roll the cookie balls, roll them in nuts and freeze them.  Thaw before baking so that you can make the little indentations for the jelly.  

I also <3 that you make the dough in the food processor...so fast, so easy.

A neato-torpedo trick I picked up from Cooks Illustrated is to use a wine cork to make the "thumbprints"...very tidy, very precise.

Cheddar Cranberry Thumbprints
Makes 3 dozen

1 ½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour

1 egg white+1 tbsp water

1 ½ cups chopped walnuts

1/3-1/2 cup cranberry jalapeno jelly

Put butter and cheeses in a food processor and process until well combined.  Add egg yolk and process until combined.  Add flour and pulse several times to incorporate. 

Whisk egg white and water together in a small bowl.  Place pecans in a shallow dish.  Roll dough into 1” balls, roll in egg white mixture, then in pecans.  Place on greased baking sheet (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper).  Press your thumb into each ball.  Bake 15 minutes at 350F until lightly browned on edges. 

Transfer to a cooling rack.  When cool, spoon a small amount of jelly in each cookie depression.
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