I know, I’m a day late posting, but this week is nothing short of the craziness to come.

Wow has time flown by this year! I worked so hard on my gift baskets that I set less time aside for my Christmas Party. I like to do the party closer to the first part of December, but schedules this year just went all over so it didn’t happen. As always we had a wonderful time and got some pretty funny white elephant gifts.

When it comes to cookbooks I feel like I’m a library. I spread the books throughout the house so it doesn’t look like I have and overwhelming stock pile of them, but for some reason that doesn’t fly for my husband. My latest addiction is to order the cookbooks for a free 30 day trial (not to mention you get cool freebies with the book) and then return them unless they are super amazing and then I either buy them or go on the hunt at 1/2 priced books for a cheaper version. Today’s recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cooking From the Heart 2008. I had an inspiration for a similar recipe using the cheddar sausage balls and flattening them out and adding jalapeno jelly, but go figure someone out there out thought me and published it before I could even develop the recipe. If you ask a contester that’s the story of their life. You work so hard on something to find that it already exist. Well even if my idea is smooched it doesn’t mean I can’t try the recipe that has been out there.

Cheddar-Jelly Thumbprints
(Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cooking From the Heart 2008)
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese or extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1/3 to 1/2 cup green and/or red jalapeno jelly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor combine cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and butter.
Cover and process until combined. Add egg yolk and pepper; process until combined. Add flour. Process with on/off turns until a soft dough forms; set aside.

In a small bowl combine egg white and water. Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in egg white mixture, then in pecans. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each ball.

Bake about 15 minutes or until edges are firm and light brown. Press puffed centers down using a rounded side of a measuring teaspoon. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Just before serving, fill centers with jelly.

Make-ahead directions: Prepare and bake as directed. Cover and chill unfilled thumbprints in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a container at room temperature before filling with jelly.

Check back tomorrow for some last minute decorating ideas…

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