Thumbprint Cookies

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic who shares with us his recipe for making thumbprint cookies. ~Elise

Thumbprint cookies are one of those classic cookies that seem to make an appearance at any event regardless what the occasion is. I think it’s because they combine so many things people love: buttery cookies, nuts, and jam. How much more homemade can you get?

Feel free to get family and friends involved with this recipe and do it in an assembly line. It’s a great recipe that’s perfect for any party or get together as people can customize cookies with their favorite nuts and jams or jellies. Just turn up the music, get your hands a bit dirty, and have a baking party!

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen cookies.


  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite jam
  • Parchment paper


1 Cream the butter and sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes.

2 Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. If using nuts place the egg whites in a shallow dish on the side and whisk them until bubbly and frothy (the egg whites will be used to keep the nuts on the cookies).

3 Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350F.

4 Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. If using nuts, dip the balls into the egg whites then roll them into the nuts until covered. Place the balls on parchment lined cookie sheets.

5 Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart. Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

6 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • Shruti

    If you’re not using nuts, do you only use the yolks?

    Yep. Or save the white for meringues or pavlova! ~Garrett

  • thekevinmonster

    Oh man, I loved these as a kid. I would always pull the hardened jam bit off the cookie and eat it first. (I was one of those ‘disassemblers’ – I’d eat the cookie around the chocolate chips, eat the chocolate off the peanut butter cup, eat the creamy filling off the twix, etc.)

  • jonathan

    Yummalicious. Made these last week with bing cherry preserves and an almond extract/10X sugar drizzle.
    I sometimes use the handle end of a fat wooden spoon to make the indentations.
    And sometimes, I use the other end of a fat wooden spoon to administer corporal punishment.
    (j/k… ;-)

  • Lisa

    I make these lovely little cookies every Christmas. When my sons were little, they always looked forward to helping me make them so they could squish the dough! :) My boys are grown men now, but it isn’t Christmas without them getting in the kitchen with me to squish the dough!! :) Thanks for the recipe and the smiles!

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