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Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups, flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 ounce bag sweetened flaked coconut
10 ounce jar of jam or pastry filling (I prefer raspberry)

Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Separate the eggs, and reserve the egg whites in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla into the butter mixture, mixing well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oven on 325'F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper if desired (I recommend this), take the egg whites out of the refrigerator, and pour the coconut into a large bowl. Using the palms of your hands, shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Place the dough balls first in the egg white and then in the coconut mixtures so that they are evenly coated with egg white and coconut. Place the coated dough balls on the parchment lined cookie sheet about 2" apart. Using your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the top of each dough ball. The indentation should be large enough to hold about 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon of jam, without going all the way through the bottom of the dough ball, Place a small amount of jam into each indentation.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden brown.

Yield - about 4 dozen cookies. This recipe can be cut in half or doubled depending on how many cookies you want to make.

Recipe Background

Most thumbprint cookies are coated with nuts. This recipe uses coconut instead and can be filled with your choice of jam. If you're looking for a great Christmas cookie recipe, this is a stand-by and a favorite in my house.

Instead of using your thumb to make the impression, I have found that it works better to use the handle of a wooden spoon to make the impression uniform in shape and size. 

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