Maybe you call them bird’s nests. Maybe you call them thumbprint cookies. By any name, they’re very tasty little shortbread cookies, rolled in chopped nuts, then filled with jam.
I intended to fill them with peach jalapeño jam, as I have previously. That is, till I remembered the peach jalapeño jar in the fridge is actually filled with ruby red vodka. OOPS. That left two filling options: smoked pear or fig. And the fig–fichi for figs in Italian–was the clear winner!
If my fichi don’t bring EVERYBODY to the yard, I’m not sure what will because DAMN, these are DELICIOUS!
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I’ve also used a combination of pecans and almonds)
jam of your choice*
*I used Sclafani Genuine Abruzzo Fig Preserves–and will do so from now on!
In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat till combined.
In separate bowl whisk together flour and salt. Add flour/salt mixture to the batter in thirds and beat just till combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Adjust oven racks to upper third and lower third. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, whisk egg white till frothy.
I used my small Zeroll 60 scoop (measures two teaspoons) to form even balls of dough. Dunk each scoop of dough into the egg white, then roll in the nuts. Use the end of a wooden spoon or spatula to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
Bake 5 minutes, then switch top to bottom/front to back and bake 5 minutes more (for a total of 10 minutes). Remove from oven. Fill with jam. Return to the oven to bake 5-7 minutes more (5 in my oven). Let cookies cool on baking sheet before moving them to a cookie rack to cool completely. Makes about 16 cookies. Yes, there were 16. I tasted one for quality control. 🙂 And it was goooooooooooooood!