2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
red jam (cherry or another flavor)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Cream butter and granulated sugar; add yolks and beat until light. Add extract. Sift flour and salt and add to creamed mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets about 2" apart. Press finger or thumb into center of each cookie to make a shallow well. Bake about 25 minutes. Press again in centers after baking. Cool on a rack. When cool, fill centers with jam and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. If using cherry jam, try to have a cherry in each cookie. Yields about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.
Recipe provided by Kathleen Smith of Lincoln Park, New Jersey. Kathleen credits this recipe to her mother Dorothy Bolton Smith, born 1922, "...who was the world's best baker. For Christmas she made tens of thousands of cookies which were used as gifts and in later years she sold them. Her cookies tasted better than they looked, and each one looked like a piece of art. She was not of German descent - her father was a descendant of the Booth's who came from England prior to 1865 and her mother's family came from Scotland & Ireland also in the 1800's. Her mother died when she was 9 and her father died when she was 12. She lived with several aunts who baked cookies (and stored them in pillowcases!), so I assume the recipe came from an aunt."
For more great recipes like this one, be sure to visit http://www.christmas-cookies.com