These beautiful thumbprint cookies are classic Christmas cookies but can be enjoyed any time of the year. They’re soft and chewy cookies made with a few simple ingredients. Add a pop of color with this eye-catching red strawberry jam. These are delightful bite-sized treats that everyone loves and are mouthwatering!
These classic thumbprint cookies are made with a simple sugar cookie dough, rolled in sparkling sugar, and then indented and filled with your choice of jam! These are an all-time favorite cookie recipe, and the filling options are endless! Rich, buttery, sweet, soft, and chewy cookies are perfect for any occasion.
Trust me when I tell you that these thumbprint cookies are going to be your new Christmas cookie favorite, this year and every year. These buttery vanilla thumbprint cookies are rolled in sugar and filled with favorite strawberry jam; these are irresistibly festive and simple but decadent cookies.
They say that good things come in small packages, and these jam-packed Thumbprint Cookies are proof. So if you’ve been looking for classic Thumbprint Cookies that taste just like grandma’s, search no more—you’ve found them!
I can’t believe it’s already December! It’s been so fun celebrating recent holidays. There’s a reason why Classic Thumbprint Cookies are so popular. They are a holiday favorite, easy to make, and even easier to customize with different filling and flavor variations!
Swedish & American Cake Inspired
Every Christmas season these cookies need to be made at least once! people especially love them around Christmas time.but it’s totally fine to make it in not spesicific time. Make them for your annual Christmas Cookie Exchange or fancy holiday dessert spreads.
Thumbprint cookies have quite a story, weaving through different cultures and culinary influences. Pinpointing their exact origin is a bit like solving a tasty mystery. Let’s take a stroll through their history;
- Swedish Roots: Some tales link the birth of thumbprint cookies to Swedish immigrants who brought a delightful tradition to the United States. Thumbprint cookies are known as Hallongrotta which is a Swedish pastry. Translated it means “Raspberry Cave“. Thumbprint cookies are really old fashioned, classic and super easy to make. The jam is also a must. I prefer a seedless raspberry or strawberry jam, but feel free to use whatever jam you like. In Sweden, these goodies boast a shortbread-like dough embracing a sweet filling of raspberry jam.
- Butterball Connection: Thumbprint cookies and butterball cookies seem to share a culinary sister, as if they’ve been exchanging secrets in the American kitchen for ages. You might be familiar with butterball cookies, those delightful creations often rolled in crunchy nuts, featuring a little hollow center ready to cradle a delicious filling.
- Holiday Magic: These cookies have found their way into the heart of holiday traditions and festive gatherings. What’s enchanting about them is the flexibility of the recipe—imagine a canvas that welcomes various fillings like jams, jellies, or even chocolate. Besides, the ingredients are relative few and easy to find.
Thumbprint cookies has become family traditions either it influenced by Swedish or Butterball American. However these cookies remind the same as Perfect Christmas cookie tray at home!
Ingredients of Thumbprint Cookies
- Unsalted Butter at room temperature; make sure to use unsalted butter to keep the thumbprint cookies from tasting salty, These cookies have a rich, buttery taste, so I recommend using good-quality butter. Make sure the room-temperature butter is soft enough so your finger leaves a dent when you press into it. If it’s cold and firm, it’ll be challenging to cream it.
- Granulated Sugar; I decided to go with granulated sugar for these cookies to help them spread just a little bit. I also like to roll the cookies in a little extra sugar before adding the jam and baking them, but this step is optional.
- Egg Yolk; choose a large egg yolk. Mix the egg yolk into the cookie dough, using just the egg yolks will give your cookies a lovely soft and chewy texture.
- Vanilla Extract; the rich flavor imparted by the vanilla extract is essential to making the best thumbprint cookies
- Salt; its balanced overall taste balances the sweetness
- All-purpose Flour; I don’t recommend making substitutions to the flour. Stick with all-purpose flour for the best results. The flour is mixed in at the very end and the dough will seem a little crumbly at first, but it will come together as you continue mixing it.
- Strawberry Jam; use your favorite jam for the filling! A whole fruit jam works a bit better than jelly. I prefer Strawberry jam, but any flavor will do! Make sure you use a nice, thick jam! Splurge to get a good quality jam since it’s a big part of the cookie! If your jam is SUPER thick, you can put it in a bowl and give it a good stir.
- Granulated Sugar for rolling, optional
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
Before you do everything else,Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C.
Now start by make the dough. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on low speed. Mix until almost all the sugar dissolved. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Then, add egg, and vanilla extract, and beat again. Sift in flour and salt then beat on low speed until completely combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly so be sure to scrape the side and bottom occasionally until the dough come together.
Form the cookies
First, scoop cookie dough with 1 tablespoon then roll the dough into a balls and roll it to a granulated sugar then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookie dough 2 inch apart. Not too close as the cookies will spread.
Then, Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon, then gently press an indent in the center of the cookie dough. Actually, I don’t recommend use your thumbprint, as it make cracks, you can use the back of a teaspoon, make an indent in the center of each cookie.
Fill with Jam
Next, Place about ½ tsp strawberry jam into the indentation of cookie dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. After refrigerated bake for 13 minutes or until the edge of the cookies are golden brown.
Finish and set Remove from the oven and let the cookies completely cool before serving. Enjoy!
Storing and Freezing Thumbprint Cookies
For storing cookies; Store the cooled thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature on the counter. I usually keep cookies in a clear cookies jar together with other cookies. You don’t have to refrigerate the cookies. I don’t recommend stacking the cookies because of the jam. These cookies will stay fresh for up to 5 days. Sometimes, it can be last longer.
If you want to freeze cookies, I recommend freezing the unbaked cookies before adding jam.
Make the cookie dough and form them into thumbprints. Place the cookies on a tray and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes to an hour. Once frozen, transfer the the unbaked cookies to freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven and arrange the cookies on the baking sheets. Fill with jam and bake. However, I recommend you to make this a head and fresh to keep the texture chewy and soft.
- Don’t use your thumb. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I press these cookies down with my thumb, I end up with funky-looking indentations and huge cookies spreading. To get even indentations that can hold a good amount of jam, my suggestion is to press them down with the back of a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon instead. It creates a round, wide cavity for the jam, making for prettier and more evenly filled cookies.
- If the dough cracks a bit when making the center indentation, roll the ball of dough in your palms a bit longer to warm the dough up more.
- Don’t skip chilling the dough. Chilling the dough will make shaping it into balls easier and hold them together so they won’t fall apart when indented.
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake that will yield dry and dense cookies. You can also fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- Add filling with a piping bag: Use a piping bag to make it easier to fill the center of the cookies with jam. Alternatively, add jam into a ziplock bag and cut off a small corner for the jam to squeeze through.
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- 1 cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 2¼ cup All-purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup Strawberry Jam
- ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar for rolling, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C.
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on low speed. Mix until almost all the sugar dissolved. Don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add egg, and vanilla extract, and beat again.
Sift in flour and salt then beat on low speed until completely combined. The mixture will be a little crumbly so be sure to scrape the side and bottom occasionally until the dough come together.
Scoop cookie dough with 1 tablespoon then roll the dough into a balls and roll it to a granulated sugar then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookie dough 2 inch apart.
Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon, then gently press an indent in the center of the cookie dough.
Place about ½ tsp strawberry jam into the indentation of cookie dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. After refrigerated bake for 13 minutes or until the edge of the cookies are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies completely cool before serving. Enjoy!