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Jam-filled thumbprint cookies are a holiday classic, and hazelnut and cranberry variation is about to become your new cookie tin go-to.

Fresh cranberries and clementines make this recipe’s flavors pop, but if you can’t get your hands on clementines, one small orange will do in a pinch. If you’re short on time, you can swap the cranberry-clementine compote for cranberry preserves–but we promise it’s worth the effort.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Moderate

Overall Time: 2 hrs 15 min

Prep Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 45 min + 30 min chilling time + 20 min cooling time

Serves: Makes about 3 ½ dozen cookies and 1 cup cranberry-clementine compote


Hazelnut Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, skin removed and finely chopped

Cranberry-Clementine Compote

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

For hazelnut cookies:

  1. Add butter, sugar and salt to a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolk, then beat to combine. Stir in flour by hand with a spatula until combined. Scoop dough by 1 tbsp, then roll each portion into a ball. Place on a large plate or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Add egg white to a small bowl, then beat with a fork. Set aside. Place hazelnuts in a wide bowl.
  3. Dip each dough ball in egg white, then hazelnuts. Repeat with half of the dough balls, egg white and hazelnuts to fill one baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully remove from oven, then make a “thumbprint” in center of each cookie with end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven and bake until cookies are set, hazelnuts are toasted and bottoms are golden, approximately 8 to 10 minutes more.
  5. While the first sheet of cookies bakes, roll remaining dough balls in egg white and hazelnut, then arrange on second baking sheet. Repeat baking with second sheet.
  6. Transfer baked cookies to a rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

For cranberry-clementine compote:

  1. While cookies bake and cool, zest, then juice clementines. Measure 6 tbsp juice.
  2. Add cranberries, sugar, clementine zest and measured clementine juice to a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium and crush cranberries against side of pot with spoon. Cook, stirring often, until compote thickens and most of the juice is absorbed, about 6 to 10 minutes. Compote will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Transfer to a wide bowl to cool to room temperature. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble:

  1. Just before serving, fill each cookie with about 1 tsp filling. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature up to 3 days.

How to Store It

Rolled dough balls will keep well covered and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.

Baked but not yet filled cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Cranberry compote will keep well covered and refrigerated up to 5 days ahead. This recipe doubles well and is delicious on your holiday table as a fresh cranberry sauce.

Kitchen Tip

Make cookie scooping as easy as possible with a spring-loaded cookie scoop. You will need a ½-oz or small “cookie” scoop for this cookie size.

If using frozen cranberries in this recipe, measure while frozen. No need to thaw before cooking, the cranberries will thaw quickly as they cook.

Hazelnut and Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies by Casa de Suna; Recipes using Fall Flavors
Hazelnut and Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies by Casa de Suna

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