Almond Thumbprint Cookies

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Serves: 36
Delicious cookies for the holidays or any time!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 cup chopped almonds, roasted*
1/2 cup (approximately) apricot or raspberry preserves
Confectioners sugar (optional)

Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add egg yolks, lemon peel (if desired), vanilla extract, almond extract and salt; beat until smooth and fluffy. Mix in flour and 1/4 cup almonds, stirring just until blended. Gather into a ball; cover and refrigerate 1 hour. ||Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. Shape dough to form 1-inch balls; roll into remaining 1 cup almonds to coat lightly. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Using your thumb or a wooden spoon handle, make a depression in each cookie. Fill each with scant 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes; sprinkle with confectioners sugar, if desired. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Store in airtight container. ||*To roast chopped almonds, spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350°F oven and bake 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant; stir once or twice to assure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to roast slightly after removing from oven. 

Nutritional Info: 

Calories 129; Fat 7 g; Sat Fat 3.4 g; Mono Fat 2.7 g; Poly Fat 0.6 g; Protein 2 g; Carb 15 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 26 mg; Sodium 19 mg; Calcium 14 mg; Potassium 39 mg; Vitamin E 0.9 mg*;

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