Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These jam thumbprint cookies are my favorite holiday cookie. The combination of buttery shortbread and fruity jam is flavor perfection.

I usually use raspberry and apricot jam in my thumbprint cookies, but you can make them with any flavor you want, whether it’s store-bought or homemade.

Most thumbprint recipes call for adding the jam after the cookies are baked, but I add mine before they go in the oven. This hardens and bakes the jam into the cookies, so it’s no longer sticky – a big plus, if you plan to stack your cookies on a serving tray, or ship them across the country.

If you’re trying to get a head start on your holiday baking, these thumbprint cookies are a great candidate. You can freeze the dough; you can freeze the unbaked cookies; and you can freeze the baked cookies. I’ve included freezing instructions for all of these options.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Closeup

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This recipe makes approximately 25-26 2″ cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup jam


What You Do:

Beat Butter and Sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together.

Add Egg and Vanilla

Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Shortbread Cookie Dough for Thumbprint Cookies

Then, add the flour and salt; continue beating, until a stiff dough forms.

Roll Thumbprint Cookie Dough Into Balls

Roll the dough into 1″ balls. A small (1 Tablespoon) cookie scoop makes quick work of this. Space the balls 2″ apart on a couple baking sheets.

Use a 1/2 tsp Measuring Spoon to Make Indentions in Cookies

Use your thumb, or a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to make an indentation in each ball. I like to use a measuring spoon because it makes uniform indentions.

Make a Thumbprint Indention in Each Cookie

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. This will firm up the dough, and keep the cookies from spreading in the oven.

Fill Thumbprint Cookies With Jam

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up, fill the thumbprints with jam. Use just under 1/2 tsp of jam in each indentation, to prevent overflow.

Bake your jam thumbprint cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are golden. (12 minutes is perfect in my oven).

How to Freeze Jam Thumbprint Cookies

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these jam thumbprint cookies freeze beautifully. Here are your options:

  • Freeze the Dough: Whip up a batch of the dough. Flatten it into a disk (so it’ll thaw quickly); then, stick it in a freezer bag, and pop it in the freezer. To thaw, place your dough in the fridge the night before you plan to use it, or leave it out on the counter for a couple hours.
  • Freeze the Unbaked Cookies: Roll out your 1″ cookie balls, and make your thumbprint indentations. Flash-freeze your unbaked cookies on baking sheets; then, transfer the cookies to freezer bags, once they’re fully frozen. To bake, allow the cookies to thaw in the fridge overnight; leave them out on the counter for a couple hours; or bake them while they’re still frozen. Fill the cookies with jam, just prior to baking. Add an extra 2-5 minutes to the bake time, if you’re baking frozen cookies.
  • Freeze the Baked Cookies: Bake your cookies. Allow them to cool. Then, freeze them on their cookie sheets. Transfer the cookies to freezer bags, once they’re fully frozen. To use, simply thaw the cookies in the fridge overnight, or leave them out on the counter for a couple hours.

How to Keep Thumbprint Cookies From Cracking

Thumbprint cookie dough has a tendency to crack, when you make the indentations for the jam. This doesn’t bother me in the least, so I usually just leave the cracks. If you want perfect, crack-free cookies, roll your cookie balls until they’re perfectly smooth. Then, gently press your thumb, or measuring spoon into the cookies. Most cracks happen, when you press down too quickly/firmly. Use your fingers to smooth out any cracks that form.

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Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These jam thumbprint cookies are a holiday classic, and for good reason. The combination of buttery shortbread and jam is perfection.

  • Total Time: 28 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 21/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup jam

Instructions

Beat butter and sugar together.

Add egg yolk and vanilla; continue beating.

Add flour and salt in batches. Continue beating, until stiff dough forms.

Roll cookie dough into 1″ balls, and place 2″ apart on cookie sheets.

Use your thumb, or a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each ball.

Chill dough in the fridge for 30 minutes (this will keep the cookies from spreading in the oven).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Fill the thumbprints with jam.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown (It takes 12 minutes in my oven).

Notes

  • Use a small (Tablespoon) cookie scoop to measure out your 1″ balls.
  • To keep your cookies from cracking, roll your balls, until they’re completely smooth. Then, gently press your thumb or measuring spoon into the dough. Smooth out any cracks with fingers.

Keywords: jam thumbprint cookies, classic jam thumbprint cookies, easy jam thumbprint cookies

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