You may think, “What kind of title is that?” and you would be right. The title refers to a favorite Christmas cookie of mine: jolly jellies. Some people call them thumbprint cookies, but we have always referred to them as jolly jellies.
Originally, I suppose the recipe came from our favorite Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook circa 1965 or thereabouts. It is called Thumbprint Cookies in that book. I have made a few changes to make them gluten-free, but they are still the same buttery, nutty, wonder-cookies that we remember from childhood. So, without further ado, here they are:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground nuts (I used pecans)
4 – 6 oz. of jellied cranberry sauce
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Mix your butter, sugar, egg yolks, (you save the whites in a small bowl for later!) and vanilla thoroughly. Add your flour, starch, xanthan gum, and salt and mix well. When it is all mixed, place your ground nuts into a small bowl alongside your egg whites.
With your impeccably clean hands, roll dough into about 1″ balls. Dip the balls in the egg whites and roll them in the nuts. Place on your parchment paper lined baking sheet and gently push your thumb into said cookie to make an indentation for your cranberry sauce. Repeat.
When you have a full sheet, fill to the brim with cranberry sauce. You needn’t worry about the sauce spilling out; it doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t move!
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool for five minutes on pan before moving to a plate or rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!