Cornmeal-Cardamom Thumbprints Cookies with Orange Marmalade


The origins of this cookie started with a recipe I fell in love with from Carol Walter’s Great Cookies book. It’s her Cornmeal/Cardamon Biscotti recipe which in turn was given to her by Sam DeMarco. So it goes with recipes. It is one of the best biscotti recipes I’ve tasted although I did significantly cut the cardamon so it is a whisper not a roar. Around the time that I made the biscotti I tasted a thumbprint cookie that someone had filled with orange marmalade. I thought the cornmeal/cardamom biscotti dough might make a nice little vehicle to house the orange marmalade.

I scaled all the ingredients to grams, which is much more accurate. I eliminated the raisins, thinking that the marmalade would be sweet enough. I altered the baking time since it’s a thumbprint cookie, not a biscotti. I believe it maintains the delicate crisp texture that drew me to the original biscotti recipe that inspired this variation on a theme of cardamon, cornmeal and almonds. I’m tempted to add a little sweet and or bitter almond oil to boost that flavor. If someone tries that please let me know how you like it.


  • 185 grams AP flour (1 1/2 cups spooned in and leveled)
  • 75 grams cornmeal ( 1/2 cup spooned in and leveled)
  • 2 tsp double acting baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 143 grams slivered almonds (1 cup)
  • 150 grams superfine sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 114 grams whole eggs (about two large eggs)
  • 113 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 227 grams good quality Seville orange marmalade (1/2 cup)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Spoon the marmalade into a small disposable pastry bag and cut off the tip, creating an opening large enough to let the peel slip through. You can also do this with the tip of a spoon. I like to put my pastry bag in a glass or other vessel. It’s easier to fill.
  3. Toast the nuts for about 5 minutes. They should be just taking on some color. Cool.
  4. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, cardamom, salt and baking powder.
  5. Grind the almonds and 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until finely ground.
  6. Beat together the remaining sugar with the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.
  7. Add flour mixture.
  8. Add almonds by hand
  9. Scoop a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Space cookies about 1″ apart.
  10. Indent the middle of each cookie with the rounded handle of a spoon, or pastry brush. I go all the way to the bottom, but not piercing the bottom.
  11. Bake cookies for about 7 minutes. Pull them out and re indent them with the same handle. I like to make the cavities a bit bigger to maximize the amount of marmalade I can put in them. Just be careful not to crack the sides. fill them to the top with the marmalade.
  12. Place back in oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the tops are very lightly colored. If they get too brown they’re not as pretty. Dust with powdered sugar if you like but remove the powdered sugar from the marmalade with a damp pastry brush.


One comment

  1. Francois de lara · May 14, 2020

    Delicious, flavors and easy recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

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