Grandma’s walnut thumbprints

Actor Lorelei King shares a special home-taught recipe with us, direct from her grandma.

Makes 2 dozen 1.5 inch (4 cm) cookies

cookies 7 small brighterIngredients

55g (¼ cup) butter
58g (¼ cup) shortening (in the UK, I find White Flora a good substitute)
50g (¼ cup) brown sugar, well packed
1 egg, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
100g (1 cup) white flour (sifted)
¼ teaspoon salt
85g (1 cup) of walnuts, ground fine
Whole walnuts and glace cherries (optional) for decoration


Lorelei KingStep 1: Mix the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour and salt and mix well.

Step 2: Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls, dip into the (slightly beaten) egg white and then roll in the ground walnuts. Place the walnut-coated balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches (6 cms) apart.

Step 3: Use your thumb to make an indentation in each ball (or use the bowl of a teaspoon if you’re worried about forensic evidence ). Place a walnut half or half a glace cherry in each indentation for decoration.

Step 4: Bake for 10-12 minutes at 190 degrees C. Allow to cool before putting on a plate and enjoying!

My Croatian grandmother used to make these delicious, buttery cookies as a special treat, and to me they’re a traditional taste of home. I’m honoured to support Dementia UK by sharing her recipe.

I know from experience that a diagnosis of dementia in the family can be a frightening and isolating experience. The support that Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses provide is a lifeline for carers and families of those with dementia. I hope you’ll support them – and make Time for a Cuppa!

– Lorelei King