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Thumbprint Cookies

This family favorite comes from Mom's recipe file. It's buttery and tender; handle with care. To adapt for party or showers, tint the icing. For Christmas, we use white icing glaze and red and green sprinkles.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter. Add sugar. Mix well. Then add egg yolks and vanilla. Add dry ingredients all at once.

Refrigerate dough for at least one hour or until stiff enough to work with.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then dip in egg whites, then roll in nuts. Place about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Working quickly, pull cookies from oven and imprint each cookie with your thumb (if you're heat sensitive, the rounded end of melon baller does nicely), and return to oven. (Some use a thimble.) Bake 8 to 10 minutes more. Allow cookies to gently brown; don't burn the nuts.

Allow to cool completely before filling center with icing glaze (confectioners' sugar mixed with just enough milk to make it easy to spoon, not too runny) or a tiny dollop of your favorite jelly or jam. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Source: Mildred Kline; submitted by Betsy Kline

Originally published on Sunday, December 13, 1998

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