Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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Learn how to make classic Thumbprint Cookies with your favorite jam filling! These cookies are always a hit and are very easy to make. Plus, you can customize them with different kinds of jam, so you never have to have them the same way twice!

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Overhead view of a plate full of jam thumbprint cookies

Everyone needs a great thumbprint cookie recipe up their sleeve, and this recipe is my go-to favorite. The cookies are so buttery they melt in your mouth, and each one has the perfect amount of fruit jam in the center.

Best Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

They’ve been around forever and are definitely a classic! My version makes a delicious batch of shortbread thumbprint cookies, and I’ve made them the same way for years, especially during the holidays. They’re perfect for gifting or cookie platters.

If you’ve never made them, or if it’s been a while since you have, definitely add this easy recipe to your baking list. I’m sharing all of my tips so they will turn out perfectly every time you make them.

Overhead view of a plate full of jam thumbprint cookies

Ingredients in Thumbprint Cookies

  • Unsalted Butter: it should be softened at room temperature.
  • Granulated Sugar and Salt: standard in cookies!
  • Extract: you can use vanilla or almond extract or a combination
  • Egg Yolk: you don’t need the white for this recipe.
  • All-Purpose Flour: measure it with the spoon and level method.
  • Jam: you can use any flavor jam!

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

1. Prepare the pan: Prepare the pan by lining them with parchment paper or baking mats. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Make the dough: Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla (or almond) extract, egg yolk, and salt and mix to combine. Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms, and the flour is absorbed into the wet ingredients.

3. Scoop: Scoop one tablespoon of the dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Place the dough balls two inches apart on the baking sheets.

4. Thumpbrint: Make a well in the center of each ball. It should be big enough to hold ¼ teaspoon of jam. Fill each well with the jam.

5. Bake: Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes. Rotate the pans a few times while the cookies bake, so they bake evenly. The cookies are done when they are no longer glossy, and the bottom of the cookies turn light golden brown.

6. Storing: Store them in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also freeze them for up to a month.

Jam thumbprint cookies on a cookie sheet with parchment paper

FAQs

What the best way to make the thumbprint? You can use your finger or knuckle. Or use the handle of a wooden spoon or the back of a measuring spoon. The thumbprint does not need to be big since you are only adding a small amount of jam.

Why did my thumbprint cookies spread? These cookies don’t have leavening, so they shouldn’t spread while they bake. Did you measure the flour using the spoon and level method? If you under or over measure the flour it can change the consistency of the dough.

How long can you keep thumbprint cookies? They will keep well at room temperature for up to three days in an airtight container.

Can I freeze thumbprint cookies? Yes, they freeze great!Once they are fully cooled, store them in a freezer-safe container. It’s a good idea to separate the layers with paper towels. This will keep them from sticking and will also absorb the moisture when you thaw them.

What jam flavors go with thumbprint cookies? For this recipe, pretty much any flavor will work. I really love raspberry thumbprint cookies – the taste is great, and I love the color. Feel free to experiment! 

There’s a reason jam thumbprint cookies are a classic – the buttery cookie with the soft jam center is a great combination, plus they’re easy to make. There are so many flavor options with the filling you can switch them up every time you make them. I hope you love the recipe!

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Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Learn how to make classic Thumbprint Cookies with your favorite jam filling! These cookies are always a hit and are very easy to make. Plus, you can customize them with different kinds of jam, so you never have to have them the same way twice!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup jam any flavor

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand or a stand mixer. Add extract, egg yolk, and salt. Slowly mix in flour until mixture is combined.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon size balls of dough. Roll between your palms to create a ball. Place on cookie sheet, 2-inches apart.
  • Use your knuckle or thumb, or the back of a ½ teaspoon, to press an indent in the center of each cookie. Fill each indent with a small bit of jam (about ¼ teaspoon per cookie).
  • Bake, rotating pans throughout baking, for about 10-14 minutes, or until the cookie is no longer glossy and bottoms turn light golden.
  • Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.

Recipe Notes

  • What the best way to make the thumbprint? You can use your finger or knuckle. Or use the handle of a wooden spoon. The thumbprint does not need to be big since you are only adding a small amount of jam.
  • Why did my thumbprint cookies spread? These cookies don’t have leavening, so they shouldn’t spread while they bake. Did you measure the flour using the spoon and level method? If you under or over measure the flour it can change the consistency of the dough.
  • How long can you keep thumbprint cookies? They will keep well at room temperature for up to three days in an airtight container.
  • Can I freeze thumbprint cookies? Yes, they freeze great! Once they are fully cooled, store them in a freezer-safe container. It’s a good idea to separate the layers with paper towels. This will keep them from sticking and will also absorb the moisture when you thaw them.
  • What jam flavors go with thumbprint cookies? For this recipe, pretty much any flavor will work. I really love raspberry thumbprint cookies – the taste is great, and I love the color. Feel free to experiment! 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies
Overhead view of a plate full of jam thumbprint cookies with recipe title on top of image

Everyone needs a great Jam Thumbprint Cookie recipe up their sleeve, and this recipe is my go-to favorite. The cookies are so buttery they melt in your mouth, and each one has the perfect amount of fruit jam in the center.

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