Thumbprint Cookies

I love classic cookie recipes, and this recipe for thumbprint cookies is one of them. They are very popular, especially during the Christmas season. In fact, people say that they are one of Santa’s favorites. But really, you don’t have to wait for a holiday to come before you make this treat for your friends and family members. You can make them anytime you want to.

It only takes about 40 minutes to make a batch of thumbprint cookies. So if you have unexpected visitors, you can put these delicious cookies together without any hassle. If you haven’t had them before, I am telling you right now; they are the ultimate indulgence!

These thumbprint cookies with a buttery shortbread base and warm jam center may look quite simple, but they are truly adorable. They are an incredible treat for everybody!

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Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Myles
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 35 cookies 1x


These classic thumbprint cookies require only a few basic ingredients and they are very easy to make. Made with a simple sugar cookie dough, they are then indented and filled with any jam that your heart desires. The filling options are actually endless!



1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup assorted jams


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, followed by the dry ingredients but add them in two batches. Mix well until incorporated.
  4. Scoop about 1-inch balls using a small cookie scoop. Place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep.
  6. Fill the center of each ball with your choice of jam.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 13 to 14 minutes or until the edges are golden.
  8. Let cool on baking sheets.
  9. Serve.


  • For the jam or jelly, you can use any flavor. Raspberry and apricot are good, and so are blackberry, strawberry, orange marmalade, and blueberry.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

Some people bake the cookies first before they add the jam or jelly. But personally, I like to add them before baking the cookies. This way, the filling gets nice and warm and bakes into the dough.

Will the Cookies Crack?

Yes, they may. This is one of the challenges that people encounter when they make thumbprint cookies. Take note that this is like shortbread and so you can expect the dough to be firm. Now, to avoid cracking, roll the dough until smooth and firm. You can then gently press your thumb in the center. Remember PRESS GENTLY.

If you want to prepare your dough ahead of time, you are free to do so. You can put it in the fridge either before or after forming your thumbprints. You can then just add the jam once you are ready to bake.

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