These Thumbprint Cookies are buttery shortbread, filled with your favorite jam and topped with powdered sugar. Perfect for the holidays or anytime!
A Classic Holiday Cookie
One of my all-time favorite holiday treats are Thumbprint Cookies. They’re light, flaky, and adaptable.
Thumbprints will forever remind me of my best friend’s mom, Doris. She used to make the most amazing spread of Christmas cookies, and I always coveted the snowballs and these. I clearly have a thing for powdered sugar.
I personally don’t think any holiday cookie tray is complete without Thumbprints. They’re so pretty, festive, and delicious!
What are Thumbprint Cookies?
Thumbprint cookies get their name because you make an indentation in the unbaked cookie dough with your thumb, which is then filled with all kinds of deliciousness. The most common fillings are chocolate and jam. They’re easy to make and the taste is fantastic.
This particular thumbprint cookie recipe is unique (and awesome), because the dough incorporates another level of flavor with ground up roasted pistachios.
Tips for Making Thumbprint Cookies
- Measure the flour correctly: Make sure when measuring, you spoon and level the flour – do not scoop. Too much flour will produce a dry and crumbly cookie.
- To avoid cracks in the dough: roll the balls between the palm of your hands until they are really smooth and there are no lines or cracks in the dough. After transferring them to your cookie sheets, gently make an indentation in the center using your thumb (or even a teaspoon.) If you still notice some cracks, you can usually press the dough back together gently with your fingers.
- Don’t over-bake: this is pretty much the case with most cookies, right? But it’s really critical with shortbread cookies or they’ll end up crunchy and dry. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are set and the bottoms are very lightly browned.
Can I Freeze Thumbprint Cookies?
Yep! Make sure they are completely cooled (and wait to dust with the powdered sugar until you’re ready to serve.) Put them in a resealable airtight container, in single layers, divided by waxed paper (this will prevent them from sticking to one another.) Alternatively, you can wait to fill them – freeze the cookies, defrost, and then fill them before serving. They can be frozen up to 1 month.
More Holiday Cookies:
Thumbprint Cookies with Jam
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup finely ground roasted pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup jam (raspberry, apricot, blackberry, strawberry – any!)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add in flour, salt, vanilla and pistachios until combined.
- Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Press thumb into center of each cookie (but not all the way through), to make an indentation.
- Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until set but not browned. Quickly remake indentation with your thumb (or the end of a wooden spoon handle, if you can't stand the heat on your skin.)
- Transfer cookies to cooling rack; cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Fill each thumbprint with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Sprinkle the powdered over the top and enjoy!