Healthier Shtreimel Cookies: Blythe Danner’s Macrobiotic Thumbprints with Chocolate Filling


In 2006, Woman’s Day magazine published  Blythe Danner’s recipe for macrobiotic thumbprint cookies. I tore out and saved the recipe but never got around to making it. Well, not until now, that is (I had to use up the barley flour I bought to make my sister-in-law these other cookies). The recipe for thumbprint cookies that is online now is a little different from the recipe that was published in Woman’s Day–I guess Blythe Danner has changed how she makes the cookies.

I made a slight change. Instead of baking the cookies filled with jam, I filled them after baking with ganache to make a healthier version of those Stella D’oro Swiss Fudge cookies (AKA Shtreimel Cookies). Some cookies I filled with cherry jam and then topped the jam with ganache.

Blythe Danner’s Macrobiotic Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Filling
Adapted from here, which is the version published in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter.
4 cups barley flour (14 ounces)
3 cups raw almonds (12 ounces)
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup oil
1 cup maple syrup

Filling: the original recipe called for jam, but I used ganache made with 4 ounces of 70 percent chocolate and 2 ounces hot water (heat the chopped chocolate and water or coffee in a microwave for less than a minute, just until the water is hot and then stir until the chocolate is fully melted and emulsified with the water. The mixture should be thick and smooth.)

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until somewhere between coarsely and finely chopped (the original recipe says to give the almonds ten 2 second pulses in the food processor).

Combine the nuts, barley flour, salt, cinnamon, oil and maple syrup to make a soft dough. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls. I got about 5 dozen balls of dough from the recipe. Place the dough balls on a parchment lined sheet and press an indentation in the center of the dough. The original recipe calls for filling the indentation with jam before baking, but I baked these unfilled.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Fill with jam or ganache, or first fill with jam and then top the jam with ganache.

Chocolate-Cherry Shtreimels: I filled some cookies with cherry jam and ganache. I think these chocolate cherry cookies were even better than the plain cherry or plain chocolate.


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4 Responses to “Healthier Shtreimel Cookies: Blythe Danner’s Macrobiotic Thumbprints with Chocolate Filling”

  1. Leora Says:

    I’m not sure there really is such a thing as a healthy cookie, but some are certainly worse than others.

    This one looks tasty – wonder if my kids would eat it.
    “Chocolate-Cherry Shtreimels” – great name

  2. Leora Says:

    Report on the cookies: my husband liked them a lot. I got to try the outside – my daughter ate the inside, did not like the outside. I liked what I tried! My son didn’t care for them either. Our guests (man and his daughter) did like them! So, no on my kids liking them. Sigh.

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