This classic vanilla almond Master Thumbprint Cookies Recipe is the perfect base to fill with your favorite jam or filling!
I’ve said it before, but I love this time of year! The weather gets colder and the people get warmer. It is amazing how hearing Christmas music or the little bells ringing outside of a store can make people so much nicer to each other. After the year we have all had, I feel like a little extra Christmas cheer is much needed!
I love thumbprint cookies, mostly because I am a sucker for any kind of jam. You're here, so I know you're with me! This recipe makes for the most delicious buttery shortbread thumbprint cookies. The perfect base to fill with any of your favorite fillings!
So simple, so cute, and so ready for a cookie swap.
Let’s make some!
First, let's talk…
Tips to Making Perfect Thumbprint Cookies
- Room temperature butter - Allowing your butter to fully come to room temperature before using in your recipe helps you get the smoothest dough. The smoother the dough, the better the thumbprint cookie!
- Spoon and level your flour - Measuring your flour correctly is the most important part when making any cookie. Too much flour and you’ll end up with hockey pucks, which we definitely do not want. The most accurate way to measure your flour when baking is by spooning and leveling. If you aren’t familiar with this, all you do is take a spoon and scoop the flour into your measuring cup. You want the flour to be fluffy and not packed down. So scoop it into your measuring cup and do not pack it down! When your measuring cup is full, simply run the back of a knife over top of the measuring cup to knock off any excess flour.
- Chill your dough - Allowing your cookie dough to chill for the allotted amount of time solidifies the butter in the dough. This keeps the cookies from spreading too much while they are baking.
- Make it your own - If you don’t care for jam, there is no rule that thumbprint cookies can't be filled with anything you like. Think chocolate, caramel, or even cream cheese!
What You Need to Make Thumbprint Cookies
To make these easy thumbprint cookies, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions!
- Butter - You’ll want unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Sugar - Granulated sugar helps bring this recipe together.
- Vanilla & almond extract - The combination of both vanilla and almond extract gives these cookies the best flavor! If you don't have both accessible, you can use all of one.
- Flour – All purpose flour is what this recipe calls for.
- Jam - Choose your favorite! My favorites are raspberry and apricot as pictured.
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
To make thumbprint cookies, simply:
- Make the dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour one cup at a time and beat on low speed until the dough is formed. It should be pretty soft to the touch. Press dough into a disc and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge at least 4 hours or until dough is firm. Remove and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before shaping. This will help prevent cracks.
- Shaping dough using cutters: If using thumbprint cutters or stamps, place dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll dough about ¼ inch thick. Cut and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Fill each with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of jam. Place sheet in the fridge to firm up for about 10 minutes before baking.
- Shaping dough by hand: Roll one tablespoon of dough into a smooth ball. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. Smooth any cracks with your fingers. Fill each with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of jam. Place sheet in the fridge to firm up for about 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake: Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges.
Dough: If your dough gets too soft when cutting and handling it, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up before continuing.
To store: Once fully cool, store in an air tight container at room temperature or the fridge for up to 6 days. They can also freeze for up to 3 months.
Thumbprint Cookie Variations:
- Raspberry jam filling
- Apricot jam filling
- Orange marmalade filling
- Chocolate filling
- Peanut butter filling
- Caramel sea salt filling
- Candy filling
More Holiday Baking You’ll Love!
- Caramel French Toast Bake With Berry Sauce Topping
- Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cookies
- Cinnamon Banana Bread
- Gingerbread Cake
- White Chocolate Fudge