Thumbprint cookies are classic buttery, rich holiday cookies filled with jam. This easy recipe is a hit every single time. Whether you make raspberry thumbprint cookies, chocolate, or strawberry, you can’t go wrong.
What Are Thumbprint Cookies?
Thumbprint cookies are soft butter cookies that have a divot in the center (made by pressing your thumb into the dough). The divot is typically filled with jam.
What Makes This Recipe Special
I like to make my cookies with an oatmeal brown sugar streusel topping (crumb topping). This is totally optional, but I think everything is better with little crumbs on top (see my crumb-topped raspberry scones and my apple crumble pie, too).
How to Make Thumbprint Cookies
Mix butter, brown sugar, and egg yolks until light and fluffy.
Mix in vanilla, flour, and salt.
Make small balls of dough (about tablespoon-sized each) and bake for five minutes. You want them to bake enough to rise and look like cookies before making divots. If you make the thumbprints before baking the cookies, the indentation will disappear when the dough rises slightly in the oven.
Remove the cookies from the oven and make indentations in the center of each cookie using your thumb or any other finger.
Fill the indentations with your filling of choice, optionally top with streusel, and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
There are so many options for jam fillings. The most popular is raspberry, but you can also use strawberry jam, apricot, peach, cranberry jam or any flavor you like. You might even want to try my extra decadent bourbon bacon jam as a filling!
You can also fill the indentations with chocolate chips. They will melt during the make and you’ll end up with awesome chocolate thumbprint cookies.
Another chocolate variation is to use Hershey’s Kisses like Baked by Rachel’s snickerdoodle kiss cookies. For that variation, you actually don’t even make a thumbprint; simply press the Kiss into the cookie at the very end of the bake just when it comes out of the oven. (You don’t want the chocolate to melt.)
Other Easy Cookie Recipes
- Coffee Cookies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Best Dutch Cookies (Arnhemse Meisjes)
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup jam any flavor
Streusel Topping Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter cold and chopped into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and egg yolks until light and fluffy.
- Mix in vanilla, flour, and salt until just combined.
- Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat, two inches apart from each other.
- Bake for five minutes.
Streusel Topping Instructions
- Using your hands, mix all streusel topping ingredients together in a small bowl until it comes together and forms crumbs.
- Remove cookies from the oven and use your thumb, or any preferred finger, to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Fill the indentations with jam and top the jam with the streusel topping.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.
- Place cookies on cooling rack to cool.