I added a surprise element to these cookies by drizzling them with chocolate. I love the way chocolate and apricots or even raspberry taste together. It also dresses them up a bit for the holidays! But you could omit it or even use white chocolate if you want.
Even though my blog is usually healthy versions of classic recipes, this one was a little hard to change without altering the flavor. So I kept half the butter and used a healthier (non-hydrogenated) margarine to replace the other 1/2 cup of butter. So I did replace some of the saturated fat. Oh well, it's the holidays, not every recipe can be healthy. So just eat in moderation! I'll try, but no promises ;)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup tub margarine (such as smart balance), softened
3 /4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond extract)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup apricot jam/preserves (or raspberry)
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Beat butter, margarine and sugar on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour and salt to butter mixture and beat until just blended. Lightly beat egg whites in a small bowl. Set aside. Put chopped walnuts in another small bowl.
Form rounded teaspoons of dough into balls; dipping each ball in beaten egg white, then roll in the chopped walnuts. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets. Press thumb or the back of a 1/2 teaspoon gently into center of each ball, to make an indention; fill each cookie with about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon preserves.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Let cookies cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
With a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cooled cookies. Let dry and store in airtight container.