An easy recipe for shortbread thumbprint cookies filled with jam. These classic cookies aren’t overly sweet and have a delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture. You won’t be able to eat just one!
Jam thumbprint cookies are popular around the holidays, but they make a delicious treat all year round. These cookies aren’t too sweet, have the perfect ratio of cookie to jam, and are super soft and crumbly. Not only do they taste great, but the texture is amazing!
What are thumbprint cookies?
Jam thumbprint cookies are buttery, tender shortbread cookies made of flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract for flavor. When shaping the cookies, you use your thumb to create an indent in the middle, which then gets filled with jam (hence the name, thumbprint cookies). I love using raspberry jam, but you can use any kind you like or have on hand!
How to make thumbprint cookies
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
- Combine the egg yolks. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Then, reduce the speed to low.
- Mix in the flour. Add the flour and beat just until combined. Be careful not to overmix your dough, which will make it tougher and less tender.
- Chill the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 1 hour or until firm enough to easily roll into balls.
- Shape your cookies. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C. Remove the dough from the fridge and form cookie dough into 3cm balls, the size of 1 tablespoon. Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them about 5cm apart.
- Fill with jam. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon to make an indentation into the center of each cookie, and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon jam.
- Bake. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies appear golden brown at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
What kind of jam should I use for thumbprint cookies?
You can use any jam flavor you like. Raspberry is my personal favorite but strawberry, blueberry, or any flavor works. If you want to remove the seeds from your jam for a super smooth consistency, I recommend using seedless jam or pureeing jam with seeds and straining through a fine mesh strainer. To help strain the jam, you can heat the jam up a bit to make it easier.
Here are a few ways to dress up your thumbprint cookies to make them extra decadent:
- Drizzle the cookies with melted white, milk, or dark chocolate.
- Drizzle with sugar icing made of 1 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk.
- For peanut butter and jelly cookies, drizzle cookies with melted peanut butter.
My #1 tip for making thumbprint cookies
To prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven, chill the cookie dough for at least an hour before baking. Shortbread cookie dough is soft and delicate, so chilling helps them hold their shape in the hot oven.
More of my favorite cookie recipes
- Monster Cookies: Made with oats, peanut butter, and chocolate.
- Cranberry Orange Biscotti: Drizzled with white chocolate for an extra treat.
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies: The perfect Christmas cookie.
- Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies: So rich and flavorful.
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies: Make with creamy peanut butter and Reese’s peanut butter chips.
Tender, delicate shortbread cookies filled with jam that is everyone is guaranteed to love!
- 200 g (1 and 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks (or 1 large egg)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup jam raspberry, strawberry or your favorite flavor
Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and beat just until combined. Do not overmix. The dough will be soft at this point so cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until firm enough to easily roll into balls.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take dough out of the fridge. Roll dough into 3cm balls, the size of 1 tablespoon. Place onto prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 5cm apart. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon to make an indentation into the center of each cookie, and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon jam.
Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies appear golden brown at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for a week.
NatashaAugust 9, 2018 at 11:12 pm
Thank you for this recipe. It was really yummy! However, I’m thinking of trying to make thumbprint cookies that are a bit more chewy in texture as opposed to this recipe that’s a bit more crumbly and melts in your mouth. Do you have any suggestions about what I can do to make these cookies chewy instead? 🙂
ShiranAugust 12, 2018 at 9:45 am
I’m glad you like it, Natasha! To make it a bit chewy I use egg yolks. To make it more chewy you can use some brown sugar or play with the amount of butter, but I can’t say the exact amounts without testing it.
SarahDecember 24, 2019 at 1:30 am
Just made these and they are great! I haven’t made thumbprint cookies with powdered sugar before and I feel like it made a huge difference in texture! Made half with apricot jam and half with Nutella!
TaniaJuly 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm
I made these twice already and everyone absolutely LOVES them! They are usually gone in 2-3 days 😂 I love how they melt in your mouth and aren’t too sweet with the help of the natural tartness of the raspberry. Will def be making these many more times! Thanks for the recipe!😊
PujaOctober 29, 2020 at 12:12 am
Could you please tell me a substitute for egg in this recipe
BrendaSeptember 7, 2021 at 3:43 pm
My new favorite cookie recipe!! The combination of the cookie with the raspberry jam is perfect, they just melt in your mouth, are delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
DebDecember 6, 2022 at 7:48 pm
Do you mean 3/4 C. butter? Or do you mean 1 3/4 sticks butter which would be the equivalent of 14 T. butter ( 3/4 C. plus 2 T. butter? If you could clarify that for me, that would be great :>) I do use a food scale to weigh my dry ingredients for baking, but have not done that for butter, eggs, or milk. Not as yet, but maybe I should start doing so. Thank you so much for your patience with our questions!