Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints Recipe


The Perfect CookiesJam thumbprints are appealing to kids and grownups alike: Who doesn’t like a sweet surprise? But rarely do we see variations on the buttery cookie base and fruity jam filling. We thought this category of cookie was ripe for a new, sophisticated interpretation. For the filling, we immediately thought of another fruity spread, one that’s richer and a bit more refined than jam: lemon curd, a custard-style sauce made from eggs, sugar, butter, and, of course, lemon juice. For the cookie base, we wanted an equally upscale flavor that would pair well with the lemon curd. A nut-based cookie seemed ideal, and the warm, round flavor of hazelnuts provided a nice contrast to the tart lemon filling. Toasting the hazelnuts before processing them with the flour and salt greatly enhanced their flavor. We love homemade lemon curd, but it’s a lot of work, especially when we needed only ¼ cup to fill all the cookies. The convenience factor of the jarred variety was undeniable here; our favorite lemon curd is Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Lemon Curd. Many other varieties of jarred lemon curd taste cloying, so purchase carefully.

  • Yield: 24 cookies


  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 0.33 cup (2⅓ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lemon curd
  • Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make It
  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Process flour, hazelnuts, and salt in food processor until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, slowly add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  3. Working with 1 tablespoon dough at a time, roll into balls and space them 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Using greased rounded 1-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each dough ball.
  4. Bake cookies until just beginning to set, about 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven and gently reshape indentation in center of each cookie with greased rounded 1-teaspoon measure. Fill each indentation with ½ teaspoon lemon curd. Bake until cookies are just beginning to brown around edges, 8 to 10 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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