Pecan Jewel Cookies with Spicy Jam Filling

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 45 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: About 36 cookies (3 dozen)
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Ingredients

3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

2/3 cup raspberry jam (the jam should have a thick consistency because it spreads during baking)

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 cups)

2 large eggs, separated, white and yolks reserved separately

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Roast the pecans on a baking sheet until fragrant and toasted, 7 to 9 minutes. Set aside to cool, and then pour into a shallow dish. Mix together the jam and cayenne in a small bowl until the cayenne is evenly distributed.
  3. Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla and salt until combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour until just combined. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 teaspoons dough per ball).
  4. Lightly beat the egg whites in a small bowl. Brush or roll the dough balls in the beaten egg whites and then roll each ball in the chopped pecans. Place the balls 2 to 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press an indentation into the center of each ball using a thick straw, chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon, and then fill the hole with a small amount of filling, about 1/2 teaspoon. Bake until the edges turn golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets on a wire rack.