Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprint Cookies! These buttery little cookies are filled with jam and rolled with nuts. Make this classic cookie for your next cookie exchange or holiday party.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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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?

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Throw a Cookie-Making Party!

Feel free to get family and friends involved with this recipe and do it in an assembly line. Thumbprint cookies are also perfect for any party or get together since 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

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

Store your baked thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. There’s no need to refrigerate. These cookies will keep for at least a week before starting to dry out and get crumbly.

How to Freeze Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies freeze best unbaked and unfilled. Prepare the rounds of cookie dough and press with your thumb to create a depression, and then freeze. Once frozen, transfer the unbaked cookies to a freezer bag or other container and freeze for up to a month.

When ready to bake, arrange the cookies a few inches apart on a baking sheet and allow to thaw while the oven reheats. (It’s ok if they’re still partially frozen when baked.) Add the jam and bake.

Looking for more cookie ideas? Try these!

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Have leftover egg whites? Make some meringue cookies to go with your thumbprints!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 3/4 cup jam, any kind


1 Make the cookie dough: Beat the butter and sugar on high speed with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.

Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. Set aside the egg whites in a separate shallow bowl.

Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.

2 Chill the dough: Place the dough in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.

3 Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4 Roll the cookies: Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on the parchment-lined cookie sheets spaced a few inches apart.

If using nuts, whisk the reserved egg whites until frothy. Dip the dough balls into the egg whites and then roll them into the nuts until covered. Arrange them on the baking sheets a few inches apart.

5 Add the jam: Press down on each ball of dough 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 and cool: Bake for 12 to 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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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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49 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Linda

    What do I do with the dough if I am using a cookie stamp?

  2. Leslie Esmay

    My husband is Diabetic and loved the plane cookie. i will be making them in small batches from now on.


  3. Ron K

    I make various cookies for the season. This recipe was the best for thimble cookies I have come across, and I’m so grateful.


  4. Kelly M

    I made these tonight. I used the exact ingredients listed and followed the recipe steps exactly, and they came out amazing! The cookie is delicate and soft but sort of flaky-ish. They are just so good! I used strawberry preserves and boysenberry jam. I didn’t have any of the issues as others mentioned. *I chilled my dough just as the recipe said too.


  5. Irma elam

    How many does a batch make?

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