Thumbprint Cookies

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These jam thumbprint cookies are truly the best! They’re buttery shortbread cookies, rolled in crushed walnuts and filled with jam! This thumbprint cookie recipe is one of our favorites and it only contains 6 simple ingredients.

These cookies have become my favorite cookies. They are seriously so good that I can’t even keep them around for more than a few hours before they’re gone!

jam Thumbprint cookies with rolled walnuts and filled with jam.

They have a melt in your mouth, delicious buttery flavor that makes you go back for more and more…. and more. The recipe is a family recipe that has been passed down for generations. It’s the perfect ratio of butter, flour, and sugar.

What I love about these cookies is that it’s a simple shortbread base, rolled in crushed walnuts giving them a crunchy texture, then filled with preserves or jam.

The butter and brown sugar flavor go so well together and then with the added sweetness of the jam, these cookies are beyond delicious.

They’re also great for several occasions. For a bridal shower, baby shower, tea party, Easter (they look like little nests!), a cookie swap and of course the perfect holiday cookie too.

Butter, egg yolks, egg whites, flour, crushed walnuts and brown sugar in bowls on a marble table to make cookies.

How to Make Jam Thumbprint Cookies

This jam thumbprint cookie recipe only uses 6 simple ingredients!

Ingredients

Full recipe is in the recipe card below.

All-Purpose Flour – King Arthur All-Purpose is what we use for this recipe.

Eggs – Large, organic eggs are best. For this recipe, they need to be separated.

Butter – Salted or unsalted and organic is best.

Dark Brown Sugar – Adds a deep sweetness to the cookies.

Chopped Walnuts – The cookies are rolled in walnuts for a crunchy texture.

Jam – Any flavor you like! Peach, strawberry, grape… so many options.

Directions

Measure your ingredients – Separate the egg yolks and whites, quickly whisk the flour to remove lumps. Measure the brown sugar by packing the measuring cup.

Mix – Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add in the egg yolks and flour and mix on medium until fully combined. Do not over mix.

Crush the walnuts – In a food processor or blender add in the walnuts and pulse until they are finely chopped. Pour them into a shallow plate or bowl.

Thumbprint cookies, egg whites and chopped walnuts on a plate

Roll the dough – Use a melon baller to scoop the dough and hand roll it into small balls.

Coat the cookies – Roll the balls in egg whites and then the chopped walnuts to cover the entire ball.

Thumbprint cookies a baking sheet

Prepare for baking – Place 12 cookies on a lined baking sheet and press down in the middle using a small round measuring teaspoon or something similar to make a “thumbprint.”

Bake first time – Place the cookies in a preheated 375° Fahrenheit. Bake for 10-12 minutes. You will bake again after they are filled.

thumbprint cookie recipe with jam

Next, fill the cookies with jam – Using a small spoon add in a small amount of jam just until the “thumbprint” is filled.

Then bake again – Place them back in the oven and bake again for 5 minutes.

Let them cool, then enjoy!

Thumbprint cookie filled with jam.

Here are some useful tips to help you make the best thumbprint cookies!

You can use salted butter for this recipe since there is no added salt. Truly your preference.

Measure the flour correctly by lightly spooning it into a measuring cup, then sweeping off the excess with a knife.

Do not use your thumb for these, use a small round tool like a measuring spoon to get a perfect circle in the cneter of the cookie. Add a little flour to small spoon to prevent sticking.

Don’t place the cookies on a hot cookie sheet.  Use a cooled cookie sheet before placing your next batch of cookies. If the cookie sheet is hot, it will start to melt and will be likely to spread. 

Don’t gorget to pop them back in the oven after adding the jam. For this recipe, you’ll bake them for about 10 minutes, then pull them out to add the jam and back in the oven for 5 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done when the tops are set and they have a very light brown color.

Make sure to use room temperature butter. If it’s not, microwave it for a few seconds to soften.

Use any, good-quality jam you prefer, or do a mix of a few flavors!

  • Fill them with chocolate or peanut butter.
  • Skip the walnuts or use crushed almonds or pistachios.
  • Fill them with candy melts for fun colors.
  • Roll them in sugar instead of nuts.

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days.

You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

When to Serve Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are perfect year-round! If you want to make them for a special occasion, here are some ideas:  

Christmas Brunch

Easter Brunch

Brunch

Pool Party 

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Kentucky Derby Party

They would also be great served with our gin and jam cocktail!

Thumbprint cookie recipe filled with jam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my thumbprint cookies spread?

This could be for a few reasons. Make sure the oven is preheated to the right temperature. Use real butter, not margin. If the dough is super soft, refrigerate it for 30 minutes before baking.

Do cookies with jam need to be refrigerated?

Thumbprint cookies filled with jam can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. If you prefer you can refrigerate them as well.

What are thumbprint cookies made of?

Thumbprint cookies are made of butter, all-purpose flour, eggs, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, and preserves. These cookies are easy to make and absolutely delicious! 

What is the recipe for thumbprint cookies?

We’re sharing the best recipe for thumbprint cookies. This recipe is made with six simple ingredients. The jam flavor can be switched out to any flavor you prefer. They’re rolled into small balls and then into chopped nuts. See the full recipe in the recipe card below.

What is another name for thumbprint cookies?

Hallongrotta, which means “raspberry cave” in Swedish is another name for thumbprint cookies. They are a common Swedish pastry. In Australia, similar cookies are known as jam drops. They are shortbread cookies that are filled with jam.

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Thumbprint cookies filled with jam

Thumbprint Cookies

These thumbprint cookies are truly the best! They're buttery shortbread cookies, rolled in crushed walnuts and filled with jam! Truly one of our favorite cookie recipes ever using only 6 simple ingredients.
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, seperate the egg yolks and whites
  • 1 cup butter, 2 sticks, salted or unsalted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces preserves, any flavor you want!

Instructions

  • Measure your ingredients – Separate the egg yolks and whites, quickly whisk the flour to remove lumps. Measure the brown sugar by packing the measuring cup. 
  • Mix – Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add in the egg yolks and flour and mix on medium until fully combined.
  • Crush the walnuts – In a food processor or blender add in the walnuts and pulse until they are finely chopped. Pour them into a shallow plate or bowl. 
  • Roll the dough – Use a melon baller to scoop the dough and hand roll it into small balls
  • Coat the cookies – Roll the balls in egg whites and then the chopped walnuts to cover the entire ball. 
  • Prepare for baking – Place 12 cookies on a lined baking sheet and press down in the middle using a small round measuring teaspoon or something similar to make a “thumbprint.” 
    thumb print cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before baking
  • Bake first time – Place the cookies in a preheated 375° Fahrenheit. Bake for 10-12 minutes. You will bake again after they are filled.
  • Next, fill the cookies with jam – Using a small spoon add in a small amount of jam just until the “thumbprint” is filled. 
    filling thumbprint cookies with jam
  • Then bake again – Place them back in the oven and bake again for 5 minutes.

Notes

Use any jam you prefer to fill these thumbprint cookies.
Properly measure the flour. 
Always use whole, organic ingredients when possible. 
Remember these bake twice in the oven, don’t forget to place them back in for 5 minutes after filling them with jam. 
Salted or unsalted butter works for this recipe. 
Use a small round kitchen tool like a teaspoon to make the “thumbprints” a perfect circle.

Nutrition

Serving: 24cookies | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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10 thoughts on “Thumbprint Cookies”

  1. Do you think you could freeze these. Maybe do the first bake, then freeze. When ready to eat, take out for 15 mins or so, fill and bake for the last 5 minutes?

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    These look like the perfect afternoon treat to make with my kids today. I’ll let the kids pick out and fill the jam. Can’t wait!

    Reply

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