We've had the same recipe in our family for many years too, except ours calls for 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. It came from my grandmother and, back in her day, recipes like this one were only made for the holidays because butter, sugar and jam were so expensive. She made her own jam, which made these cookies even better.
We make two variations:
1) For added flavor and a bit of crunch, beat one of the leftover egg whites and dip the top half of the dough balls into it, then in finely chopped pecans. Proceed by making the indentation, filling with jam and baking like in the original recipe.
2) You can make elegant jam tartlets by using a mini muffin pan. Drop in enough dough to fill each muffin cup about halfway, then use a bottle cap or other similar instrument to make the depressions, pressing the dough up the sides. Be careful not to make the bottoms too thin. You want the dough to look like a crust. Remove any excess dough by scraping it away with a spatula, then fill and bake as in the original recipe. These will hold a little more jam and the dough will brown evenly on the sides and bottom. After the tart cookies are almost cooled, carefully turn them out onto a cookie sheet that's been covered with a thick, even layer of powdered sugar to coat the tops.
I usually make a double recipe. I make enough tart cookies to fill one mini muffin tin and make the rest on a cookie sheet with the pecan topping. So good!
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We've had the same recipe in our family for many years too, except ours calls for 1/2 teaspoon...