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Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

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Thumbprint Cookies

Are you ready to make some delicious thumbprint cookies? These simple treats feature buttery dough with a sweet jam filling that will melt in your mouth. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a festive holiday or just a regular day.

The secret to perfect thumbprint cookies lies in the balance of buttery dough and sweet jam. You can customize the filling with your favorite flavors, like raspberry, apricot, or strawberry. The dough is easy to work with, and the cookies come together quickly, making them a great option for some last-minute baking fun.

Imagine biting into a cookie that’s crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, with a burst of fruity goodness in the center. Thumbprint cookies are not only tasty but also visually appealing, making them a hit with both kids and adults alike. Now, let’s dive into the recipe and get baking!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Use unsalted butter, softened. If you prefer, you can use margarine as a substitute.

All-purpose flour is commonly used, but you can replace it with whole wheat flour for a healthier twist.

Granulated sugar works best, but you can swap it with coconut sugar or brown sugar.

You’ll need 1 large egg. For a vegan option, use a flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 tbsp water).

Vanilla Extract:
Adds flavor. If you’re out, you can use almond extract or even maple syrup.

A pinch of salt balances the sweetness. You can use sea salt or kosher salt as alternatives.

Jam or Preserves:
Fill the cookies with your favorite jam or fruit preserves. Nutella, chocolate spread, or even caramel sauce can be used if you want to try something different.



To make thumbprint cookies, make sure you have these ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite jam or preserves


  1. Preheat Your Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  3. Add Egg Yolks and Vanilla: Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract until well combined.

  4. Mix Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined.

  5. Shape the Dough: Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. You can use a teaspoon for consistent sizing.

  6. Coat in Sugar: Optional, but you can roll the dough balls in granulated sugar for an extra sweet touch.

  7. Thumbprint: Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets. Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

  8. Add Jam: Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam or preserves.

  9. Bake: Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. They should be lightly golden around the edges.

  10. Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your delicious thumbprint cookies!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Keep Ingredients Ready: Before you start making thumbprint cookies, gather all your ingredients. This helps in smooth baking.

Chill the Dough: After mixing the dough, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Chilled dough is easier to shape and helps prevent cookies from spreading too much.

Uniform Size: Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to portion the dough into equal-sized balls. This ensures even baking.

Make the Thumbprint: Gently press your thumb in the center of each dough ball to create a small well. You can also use the back of a spoon if you prefer.

Fillings: Fill the wells with your favorite jam, chocolate, or any other filling before baking. This adds flavor and makes each cookie delicious.

Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cookies. Bake at 350°F for about 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Overbaking can make them hard.

Cool Completely: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them set properly.

Storing: Store your thumbprint cookies in an airtight container. Keep them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and heat. They usually stay fresh for up to a week.

Freezing: If you want to store them longer, you can freeze the cookies. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag. They can last up to three months in the freezer.

With these tips and tricks, your thumbprint cookies will stay fresh and tasty! Happy baking!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Thumbprint cookies offer endless creativity. Here are some recipe variations:

  • Classic Jam-Filled: Use different jams like raspberry, strawberry, or apricot.
  • Savory: Add Parmesan cheese to the dough and fill with tomato and tart cherry jam.
  • Nutty: Roll the dough in chopped nuts before baking.
  • Chocolate: Fill with chocolate spread or ganache.

Baking Tips:

  1. Chill the dough twice, before and after shaping.
  2. Preheat your oven and follow specific baking times (usually around 12-15 minutes).

Serving Suggestions:

  • Pair with hot chocolate or coffee.
  • Serve on a decorative tray for parties.
  • Make them part of a cookie exchange during holidays.
  • Add a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top for extra richness.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.