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Classic Thumbprint Cookies with a sweet jam center are the perfect cookie to enjoy any time of the year! These cookies are buttery, fruity, and drizzled with just the right amount of sweet glaze.
Years ago, I published this recipe and so many readers loved it. It’s super easy, uses pantry ingredients, and perfect for anyone who’s learning to bake.
Even though it’s a much-beloved recipe, it kind of fell to the wayside until I was reminded how good it is. So, I brought it back with updated photos and instructions.
You may think of Thumbprint Cookies as a traditional treat served during the holidays. Well, I’m here to change your thinking! I love to make these pretty, delicious cookies in the spring but then again, I really like to make them any time.
Why You’ll Love these Cookies
- They are buttery and melt in your mouth tender.
- Have a sweet, fruity center.
- They’re made like a classic shortbread cookie with just 4 simple ingredients.
- Are perfect to serve during the holidays, parties, and family gatherings.
- These cookies make the BEST homemade gift anytime you need to spread a little joy!
What You Need To Make Thumbprint Cookies
- Fruit Preserves
- Powdered Sugar
- Milk or Water
This recipe is really, really easy. I use my stand mixer to make the dough and after it comes together, as a bonus, there’s no need to chill it.
To make the cookies, scoop out the dough using a #40 scoop, roll into a ball then make an indention, fill it will jam then bake. All that’s left to do is cool and drizzle on the glaze.
A Southern Soul Tip: to make the indention in the cookie, use your thumb, the bottom of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, or my favorite, the end of a wooden spoon.
One of the most fun things about making these cookies is that you can change them up depending on the seasons or the flavors you like.
Filling Ideas For Thumbprint Cookies
- Apricot Jam
- Lemon or Lime Curd
- Raspberry Jam
- Bake the cookies with the “thumbprint” empty then insert a Chocolate Kiss immediately after removing them from the oven.
How To Store These Cookies
Store the baked Thumbprint Cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
More Yummy Cookie Recipes You’ll Love!
- BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Kitchen Sink Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Last but not least…
If you make this Thumbprint Cookie recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating. I always love hearing from you! Also, if you make it, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photo.
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup room temperature butter – 2 sticks
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups flour – sifted
- strawberry preserves – you can use apricot or fig as well
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ***milk or water can be substituted***
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together with a hand or stand mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolk and mix well.
- Slowly add flour, ½ cup at a time, and continue to mix – the dough will be thick and dense.
- Using a spoon or a #40 scoop, form cookie dough into small balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets.
- Using your thumb, or the bottom of a wooden spoon make an indention in the center of the cookie and fill it with preserves.
- Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on the pan for 1 minute.
- Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
- Mix together confectioners sugar and lemon juice (milk or water.) Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.
Can I freeze them with the jam in them
Hey there Audrey!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, these cookies are super simple to make and totally delicious! You can totally freeze these cookies to enjoy at a later date, even with the jam in them, just make sure to seal them up in an airtight container. I really hope you enjoy the recipe, thank you so much for your wonderful rating. If you ever have any other questions, feel free to reach out and ask!
Hi. These look so good! Do you use lemon juice in the drizzle or water or milk? It says one in the recipe and the other in the directions? Thanks
You can use any one of the three. Hope this helps.
Have a great day,
What kind of flour did you use?? A cake flour….plain flour??
I use regular all-purpose flour. Hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Have a wonderful day,
I noticed that in your ingredients it calls for lemon juice but in the directions no where is lemon juice mentioned.
Hey there Jane!
Thank you for bringing this to my attention, the recipe has been corrected. The lemon juice does not actually go into the cookie, it is a substitute/option for making the drizzle. What you’ll want to do is combine the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 cups of confectioners sugar to make your drizzle, but you can substitute milk or water in place of lemon juice if you prefer. Thank you for the rating, I hope you enjoy this recipe!
I doubled the recipe and my dough is crumbly to where when I put my spoon in for the indention gently it crumbled. Help please!
Hey there Angela!
This is a common problem with these cookies so no worries, I am happy to help! These Thumbprint Cookies are essentially a version of a shortbread cookie, the only difference being that we’re adding egg yolk, so it’s going to be a naturally crumbly dough. If you’re dough is so crumbly that you cannot dent it, I would guess it’s because your butter was not fully at room temperature when you started this recipe. It’s important that your butter is fully at room temp so that the fat from the butter can soak into the flour to bind the cookie. If this happens again with the next batch you make you can add either another egg yolk or another tablespoon of soften butter to make it less crumbly, I’ve tried both and both ways work. Thank you for your interest in this recipe, I hope this helps! Happy Holidays!
"Strawberry jam butter cookies – Excellent snack or for after dinner!", Roy, Chief Sweets Tester.
The Happy Whisk