These are another of the cookies that my Mum used to make at Christmas, and they are a family favourite! The duty of making them now falls to my sister Leslie, who has veganized the recipe so that everyone in our family may enjoy these wonderful little gems. Leslie really should operate a vegan bakery - her cakes are wonderful, and are all of her own invention, and her cookies are fantastic.
This is a fairly labour intensive cookie - you can't just drop these guys onto a cookie sheet!
You will need to do a bit of prep before you begin - you will need to grind up enough walnuts to give you between 3/4 of a Cup and 1 Cup of finely ground walnuts. Unless you are a whizz with a knife, you will want to use a food processor to do this job.
You will also need to prepare about a 1/2 cup of flax seed meal with a cup of warm water, and mix it well, and allow it to stand for at least 30 minutes. An hour is better. As it stands, it will thicken nicely, and can then be substituted for the eggs that would normally be put in the recipe.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
To make the cookies, mix together thoroughly:
1/2 Cup of Earth Balance buttery sticks
1/4 Cup of packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon of the prepared flax/water mixture (see above)
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
In another bowl, sift together
1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
Roll the dough into balls that are just slightly less than 1" in diameter.
Dip each ball into the remaining flax/water mixture, and then roll in the finely chopped nuts.
Place each nut-covered ball about 1 inch apart on an ungreased or parchment covered cookie sheet, and bake for five minutes.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and with your thumb or another finger, gently press into the top of each cookie.
Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes longer.
Allow the cookies to cool, and then spoon some raspberry jam into the indentation in each cookie.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. They fly off the cookie tray like they had their own little wings, so you might want to make a double batch.
Variations: instead of chopped walnuts you could roll the cookie dough in finely chopped pecans or almonds, or in coconut.