Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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These Thumbprint Cookies are easy to make with a dollop of your favorite jam! They’re soft and chewy cookies made with just 7 ingredients. Perfect for your Christmas cookie tray!

Classic Thumbprint Cookies Filled with Jam

Classic Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These jam-filled cookies look so pretty, you won’t believe how easy they are to make. From holiday desserts to everyday snacking, they’re sure to be a hit with your family. The flavors are simple and classic, yet irresistible.

The cookie dough is really good at holding its shape, so you don’t have to worry about your cookies over-spreading. You can make these cookies with any kind of jam you like – the possibilities are endless! I love using apricot jam and raspberry jam for mine.

Jam-Filled Sugar Cookies on a Marble Counter

Why Are They Called Thumbprint Cookies?

Thumbprint cookies get their name because the jam is placed on the cookies in a divot made from your thumb. Technically you don’t have to use your thumb – I use a measuring spoon – but that’s where the name comes from. Thumbprint cookies can also be made with icing or buttercream, but I like to keep them fruity with fresh jam in this classic version.

Recipe Ingredients

These cookies are made with staple pantry ingredients, so there’s no need to run out and grocery shop! Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Unsalted Butter: Bring your butter to room temperature before starting on your dough.
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolks: You won’t be needing any egg whites for this recipe. The yolks contribute to a chewier cookie.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Jam: Use your choice of jam!
Thumbprint Cookies Filled with Apricot and Raspberry Jam

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Prepare for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Cream Butter & Sugar: Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
  3. Add Egg Yolks: Add the egg yolks one at a time. Mix until well combined after adding each yolk.
  4. Add Vanilla Extract: Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add Flour & Salt: Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough is just well combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Form Cookies: Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll them into a ball, then roll them in additional sugar if desired. Set the balls on the baking sheet.
  7. Press: Use the end of a spatula, your thumb or the bottom of a measuring spoon to press the centers of the cookies down. Do this immediately after rolling them to help prevent the cookies from cracking.
  8. Add Jam: Fill the centers with jam. I used roughly 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.
  9. Bake: Bake your cookies for 10-13 minutes or until the edges JUST begin to brown. You don’t want to overbake them and end up with dry cookies.
  10. Let Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finishing cooling.
Soft Cookies with a Fresh Jam FillingA Platter Full of Thumbprint Sugar Cookies

Tips for the Best Thumbprint Cookies

  • Use a Food Scale: For the best results, I always recommend using a food scale to measure your dry ingredients. Flour especially. This cookie dough is already fairly thick so that they don’t spread a crazy amount, so over-measuring your flour will very quickly lead to dry, firm cookies.
  • Press Immediately: As soon as you form the cookie dough balls (and roll them in sugar, if you choose to do that step), press the centers down. As the cookie dough sits, the edges start to dry out, so waiting to press your cookies can lead to cracking.
  • Use a Medium-Colored Baking Sheet: Try to use a medium-colored baking sheet for this recipe. Lighter colored baking sheets cause cookies to spread more, and darker baking sheets cause them to spread less and brown more on the bottom. A medium-colored sheet is just right!
  • Avoid Chilling the Dough: There’s no need to refrigerate this cookie dough. You can if you’d like to, but I found that the cookies actually did more spreading after being refrigerated, so keep that in mind.

How to Store these Cookies

I recommend keeping these cookies in an airtight container or resealable bag. On the counter, they’ll last for about 3 days. If you store them in the fridge, they’ll stay good for up to a week. If you want to store them long-term, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Great Holiday Cookies

Buttery Classic Spritz Cookies
Italian Ricotta Cookies
Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
Best Gingerbread Cookies
Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms
No Bake Salted Caramel Macaroons
Cutout Sugar Cookies

Read Transcript

Thumbprint Cookies

These cute little Thumbprint Cookies are easy to make with a dollop of your favorite jam! They’re soft, chewy, and made with just 7 ingredients.

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 30-35 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar (plus 3-4 tbsp for rolling) 
  • 2 large egg yolks 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup jam, any flavor 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix until well combined after each.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough is just well combined. Do not over mix. 
  6. Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll into a ball, then roll in additional sugar (if using), then set the balls on the baking sheet.
  7. Use the end of a spatula, your thumb or the bottom of a measuring spoon to press the centers of the cookies down. Do this immediately after rolling them to help prevent the cookies from cracking. 
  8. Fill the centers with jam. I used roughly 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.
  9. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes or until the edges JUST begin to brown. You don’t want to overbake them and have dry cookies. 
  10. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to finishing cooling.

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