There is just something so delicious about a Thumbprint Cookie. The buttery shortbread, the slight nuttiness from the pecans, and the sweet and tart drop of jam in the middle make the best combination! I love thumbprint cookies, and I am so excited to share this perfect and so delicious recipe with you! I’m having so much fun sharing cookie recipes this week! Did you catch the Pfeffernusse Cookie recipe on Monday? They are a German cookie that you really must try!
I don’t remember my mom ever making Thumbprint Cookies when I was a kid, but I do remember getting them on Christmas treat plates from neighbors or having them at potlucks. I loved them so much! As much as I love them, I really haven’t made them much as an adult and decided to change that this year. After researching different recipes, I gotta say, I think what I came up with is perfection! I hope you love them!
More Treats for Christmas Plates
- The Best Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Hershey Bar Fudge
- Merry Widow Caramels
- Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
- White Chocolate Christmas Chex Mix Recipe
- Mom’s Best Peanut Brittle Recipe
step-by-step photos on how to make thumbprint cookies
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips about how to make Thumbprint Cookies
what is the best way to shape the cookies?
Use a 1-tbsp cookie scoop to shape the cookies. It’s the perfect size. If you don’t have one, use a 2-tbsp cookie scoop and break the scooped dough in half to get the right size of ball.
can I make the dough in advance?
Yes. You can make the dough the day before and chill it overnight. When ready to bake, let the dough sit on the countertop for an hour, and then shape into balls and follow the steps afterward. In the alternative, you can shape the dough into balls and place them in the fridge overnight. On the next day, let the dough balls warm up enough to roll in the crushed pecans, and then fill with jam and bake.
can I use a different jam flavor than strawberry?
Absolutely. Mix it up and use your favorite jam or a variety of jams.
I don’t like pecans. What’s a good substitute?
Walnuts are a good substitute. Also, if you are allergic to nuts, you can skip rolling them in crushed nuts and follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
how should the cookies be stored?
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to six days on the countertop or in the freezer for up to two months. Let the jam set up before freezing them.
- To crush the pecans, use a food processor.
- Roll all the dough balls in the crushed nuts and place them on the cookie sheet before doing the jam step. It makes the process more streamlined.
- 1 cup softened butter
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 and ⅓ cups +1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ cup crushed pecans
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set them aside.
- In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes or until well combined.
- Mix in the eggs yolks, vanilla extract, and salt until fully combined.
- Next, mix in the flour. Mix until the dough is no longer crumbly.
- Roll 1 tbsp of dough into a ball. I like to use my 2 tbsp cookie scoop and break the scooped dough in half to get the right size of ball. If you have a 1 tbsp cookie scoop, that would be perfect.
- Once you have the dough ball rolled, roll it in the crushed pecans and place it on the prepared cookie sheet. Use your thumb to make a small dip in the cookie. Fill the dip with ½ tsp of strawberry jam.
- I prefer to get all the cookies rolled in the nuts and on the cookie sheet before doing the jam step. It makes it more streamlined.
- Bake at 350°F for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.