This recipe is also known as Austrian Jam Cookies. We have made this for Christmas for many years, but this particular recipe comes from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, on Food Network in 2003. This recipe uses coconut for the covering, whereas Austrian Jam Cookies use almond splinters. You don’t want to make these cookies too big or they don’t cook evenly. Just big enough to stick your thumb in the center for the jam.
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1-ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
Makes 32 cookies.