Classic, melt-in-your-mouth cookie dough filled with plenty of sweet jam makes these traditional thumbprint cookies the perfect sweet treat! They’re easy to make, easier to eat, and can be adapted to whatever filling you want!
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Classic Thumbprint Jam Cookies
Thumbprint cookies are so fun and easy to make and they are always eye-catching on a cookie tray! They’re a simple cookie dough rolled in sugar and then baked with an assortment of your favorite jam that fills the thumbprint groove in the middle!
They’re delicately sweet, and melt-in-your mouth and depending on what type of filling you use, can be a different flavor in each one!
As much as I adore these as Christmas cookies they are great year round. The kids love to help make them, each putting their own fingerprint on theirs.
The entire batch is ready to eat in under 1 hour and not only are they good to eat right away, but they store and travel well which makes them the perfect edible gifts!
Why This Recipe Works
- No mixer is needed. This easy thumbprint cookies with jam recipe requires no fancy appliance. Just mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and they come together to form the dough. Then it’s scoop, indent, and bake!
- Just 5 minutes of chill time. There is no long chilling time. Just a few minutes in the freezer to set.
- Simple ingredients. Basic kitchen staples come together to form this cookie dough. You probably already have what you need on hand, which makes it even more convenient.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Unsalted butter softened: Bring it to room temperature about 30 minutes ahead of time. You don’t want it warm or almost melting, just soft enough to cream.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cookie dough. Keep some extra for coating the outside of the cookies before baking, if desired.
- Large egg yolk: Keep the egg white stored in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast. Add it with the rest of your eggs.
- Vanilla extract: Adds even more aromatic flavor.
- All-purpose flour: Measure the flour correctly to avoid dense or dry cookies!
- Fine sea salt: Enhances the flavors of each ingredient and brings them together.
- Raspberry jam: You can also use whatever you’ve got on hand or your favorite flavor of jam.
- Alternative to the raspberry preserves could be apricot or blueberry jam. I use strawberry jam in peanut butter and jelly cookies and that would work here, too!
- Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract for a different cookie flavor.
- Add a different filling such as lemon curd, chocolate ganache, or dulce de leche.
- You can also use my recipes for shortbread cookies and butter cookies to make thumbprint cookies!
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
- Mix wet ingredients. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and then mix in the egg yolk and vanilla.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Form the dough. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined but well incorporated.
- Roll into balls. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough. Use the palms of your hands to roll the dough into 1-inch balls and toss them in some extra sugar if desired. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and use the back of a small spoon or your thumb to make an impression in the center of the dough.
- Add filling. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of jam (or whatever filling you’re using) to each indentation.
- Bake. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated 350°F oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Remove and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for the Best Thumbprint Cookies
- Nonstick surface. Make sure to line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking but also to prevent the cookies from spreading.
- Avoid spreading. This can also happen when your butter is too warm and you haven’t chilled your dough or the flour wasn’t measured correctly. Using too much or too little can have drastic results!
- Prevent cracks. When rolling the dough in your hands, do so until it is nice and smooth. Then, gently add an indent to the center. Don’t rush it.
You can! I love to add the jam before baking as it comes out warm and baked nicely into the cookie. However, there are some fillings I do choose to add afterward. Dulce de leche is one of them. If I add a chocolate kiss in the center, I add that after so it doesn’t melt!
Your best bet is to use a kitchen scale. Try it by placing the measuring cup or bowl on the scale and setting it to zero. Then, measure your flour.
If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into the measuring cup (do not use the cup itself to scoop out the flour) and use the straight edge of a knife to scrape off the excess above the rim.
Certainly! Flash-freeze them so they’re solid first. Then, store them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. You can also separate the layers with parchment paper so they don’t all freeze together. Thaw them on the counter when you’re ready to eat them!
Storing Thumbprint Cookies
Keep cookies stored in an airtight container either on the counter or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar , plus more for rolling if desired
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup raspberry jam (or your favorite flavor), at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Using a small cookie scoop, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls into extra sugar, if desired. Place the dough balls on baking sheet.
- Using your thumb or the back of a small spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball. Freeze 5 minutes.
- Spoon approximately 1/2 teaspoon jam into each indentation.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet 5 minutes, or until jam is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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