thumbprints2I think these thumbprint cookies are among the loveliest cookies I have ever seen. I’d been holding on to this recipe for months, planning to make it for this year’s cookie swap at my good friend Jennifer’s house.

The other cookies I took were the sparkle cookies I’ve blogged about recently. (I must say, here that I think the sparkle cookies ended up being more popular than these ones, but I prefer these myself).

Despite the fact I try to stay away from multi-step recipes after having kids, this one worked to my advantage because I was able to do a couple of steps, leave the cookies and come back to them later. However, you want to be careful to allot yourself a good amount of time near the end when you top the cookies with the caramel, then the chocolate, then the hazelnut. You don’t want to let the chocolate set so that the hazelnut doesn’t stick to it so you must work relatively quickly.

The flavour combination is tested and true, think Ferrero-Rocher, although the cookie is much more dense than you might expect. Almost like a very buttery shortbread.

Best of all, it’s really hard to make these look sloppy as you dip them in the finely chopped hazelnuts so you don’t need to worry about the cookies cracking and so on. However, when the time comes to placing the caramel in the middle, I did use less than the recipe called for because there was the risk of it spilling over. Use your judgment — perhaps your thumb is stronger than mine and you will leave a deeper indentation!

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens, and you can find it here. I love to peruse BHG recipes around the holidays as their recipes are excellent.

Substitutions: None. I wouldn’t necessarily try to swap another nut for this recipe although pecans might work.

Would I make these again? Yes, like I said these cookies are just lovely and I would make them again for a special sweet table – perhaps a bridal or baby shower – as hazelnuts don’t come cheap and these take quite a bit of time to make.

I would like to point out, however, that although I made these fresh and bought fresh nuts, after a couple of days they tasted to me like they’d been sitting out for a while. For that matter, I would keep these in the fridge rather than at room temperature.

Grade: Five stars out of five.