Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Pistachio Linzer Thumbprints

I'm very excited about June cookie month for Sweet Melissa Sundays. This is the first of 4 weeks of cookie recipes coming up. Linzers are a favorite of mine. I make linzers every Christmas and package them up with a few other varieties of cookies and give them as gifts. They are delicate sandwich cookies and have that wow factor that makes them special. I fill them with raspberry and lemon curd and the lemon curd is the by and large the favorite (somewhat reminiscent of a lemon bar). I thought Melissa Murphy's Pistachio Linzer Thumbprints would go well with lemon curd filling. Thumbs up on these tasty cookies!

The pistachios give these cookies a crumbly texture, but the flavor of the nuts was very subtle. Upon reading other SMS baker's experience with crumbly dough, I used 3/4 cup of pistachios rather than 1 cup. The dough came together in the food processor and looked like rough cornmeal. I was concerned that the dough would not come together. But when I pinched it together it held. I think because the recipe calls for cold butter it gets that dry looking texture. I formed my dough into a large disc and let it sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes to ensure the butter the was warm enough to keep the dough nice and doughy! I then refrigerated it for about an hour before rolling it out into balls.

The little balls of dough got a coating of egg wash and a tumble in the finely chopped pistachios. I did add about 1/4 cup of sugar to the pistachios when I pulsed them in the food processor to keep the oil in the nuts from making the coating too moist--a trick from my linzer recipe.

When I pressed in the thumbprints there was a slight cracking at the edges but it was easily solved by just patting them together. The warmth from your fingers makes the butter soften right up and hold a nice shape.

I filled a ziploc bag with store bought lemon curd (I like Dickinson's brand) and piped the filling in the centers.

20 minutes in the oven and they came out golden brown.

A heavy shower of powdered sugar went on after the cookies cooled. The coolest tip from this recipe was tapping the center of the cookie with a wet finger to get the lemon curd to shine through the powdered sugar. It's these little genius things that make all the difference in the world.

So how did they taste? I really enjoyed them. It was nice to try baking with a different kind of nut. They have a crumbly texture, but not too crumbly. The sweetness from the powdered sugar is perfect with the sweet curd filling. Hubby said they were good, but not great. But, he did come back for seconds. Which speaks volumes for him! He's not a big sweets guy. I would definitely make these again. Even though this recipe has a few steps, I thought it was easier than my regular linzer recipe. Melissa Murphy also recommends trying this recipe with hazelnuts. Hazelnuts would be tasty with Nutella filling! Mmmmmm. So many options!

Thank you Tracey for hosting this week's recipe. Check out what other SMS bakers did here. Up next week, Chocolate Orange Macaroons. :)


  1. Looks great! Loved all the powdered sugar!

  2. Hi Gloria! Wonderful photos and a great post :) Your cookies look perfect! I absolutely love your idea to fill them with lemon curd - it's a huge weakness of mine but I've never thought to use it in thumbprints. Glad you could bake along this week!

  3. these are beautiful! you can tell that you've had a lot of thumb-printing experience b/c you make them at christmastime. they look perfect!

  4. Wow, these look lovely -- I forgot all about powdered sugar. And I love your idea of using hazelnuts and Nutella as a filling!

  5. Your cookies are beautiful! So perfectly round! I love the idea of lemon curd, delicious!!!

  6. Your cookies look fantastic! I didn't get around to posting mine (oops), but I thought they were a fun cookie to make and my boyfriend is eating more of them than I thought he would. I thought the flavor of the lemon zest really came through in the dough, so lemon curd would be an excellent pairing.

  7. Your cookies are beautiful and lemon curd sounds like a wonderful filling idea! It's always fun to see the different variations on all the blogs.