Thumbprint Cookies are a classic holiday favorite. These delicate cookies are baked to perfection and filled with delicious raspberry jam, perfect for the holidays!
It’s time to check out all our cookie recipes! There’s something for everyone, from peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies to easy molasses cookies and of course, our favorite krumkake recipe! For the classic cookie lovers, we have these delicious thumbprint cookie recipe!
Easy thumbprint cookie recipe for the holidays!
Add this delicious thumbprint cookies recipe to your holiday baking list because no one can resist a buttery cookie with coconut and raspberry jam. These are one of the first cookies I made when I was a kid and yes, I ate a dozen in one sitting and no I’m not sorry because they’re that good!
In the past 3 years, we’ve made thumbprint cookies for Christmas and I always tell myself that I should have made more. This year, I’m making 4 batches of these so we’ll have over 100 cookies. I might even be able to freeze some!
How to make jam thumbprint cookies
This thumbprint cookie recipe is quite similar to shortbread cookie recipe. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and then follow the steps:
- Turn the oven on and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat butter, sugar and egg yolk in a large bowl.
- Add in flour and mix well.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and set them aside.
- Roll each dough ball in lightly beaten egg white (optional).
- Roll the dough balls in coconut flakes (optional).
- Make a small indentation into the center of each cookie dough.
- Fill the indentation with jam.
- Bake until golden on the edges.
I usually roll my thumbprint cookies in a beaten egg and then in coconut flakes, however these steps are completely optional. You can simply roll them in granulated sugar and proceed with the instructions. You can make the cookie dough in a large bowl or use a stand mixer.
How long do you bake thumbprint cookies?
Jam thumbprint cookies are delicate cookies and don’t need a lot of time to bake. Each batch of cookies needs to be baked for about 9-10 minutes until the edges are golden. The cookies might still be soft once they’re out of the oven so let them cool a bit before transferring to a cooling rack.
Prevent thumbprint cookies from spreading
This is a very common issue when making thumbprint cookies and it’s because the butter and sugar melt into the cookies which causes them to spread a bit. To minimize the spread, there are a few steps you can take:
- Refrigerate the cookie dough balls: Once you have the cookies rolled and filled with jam, before placing them in the oven, refrigerate them for about 30 minutes to an hour. This step must be taken after rolling the cookies and before baking them. Don’t refrigerate the cookie dough that hasn’t been shaped into balls, it will get hard and rolling will be a pain.
- Indentation: When making the indentation, make sure it’s mostly narrow and deep instead of being wide. You can use the tip of your finger or a lollipop stick.
- Use a cool baking sheet: This works for all types of cookies, make sure the cookie sheet is at room temperature before placing the cookies on it. If the cookie sheet is warm or hot, cookies will start spreading right away before baking. Read about best cookie sheets on Food and Wine.
How can I prevent thumbprint cookies from cracking?
Cracking is so common with thumbprint cookies and it’s not even a big deal to have some cracks on the cookies. However, if you want to have smooth and round thumbprint cookies, it’s possible. This cookie dough is firm yet soft since there’s no chilling time, roll the cookie dough between your hands until it has a smooth surface with no cracks. After pressing an indent into the cookie dough ball, if there’s a crack, simply press it back together.
Can thumbprint cookies be frozen?
Yes. They actually freeze really well. Once you’ve made all the cookies and they’re all filled with jam and they’ve cooled completely, you can freeze them. There are two ways to freeze thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam:
- Wrap each cookie individually in wax paper, then place several wrapped cookies in a ziploc bag and freeze. To defrost the cookies, simply unwrap each cookie and place them on a cookie sheet in room temperature until they’re fully defrosted.
- Place several cookies on a baking sheet, top with parchment paper and then place another row of cookies on them. Freeze until fully frozen and then place them in a ziploc bag and freeze. To defrost, take the cookies out of ziploc bag and place them on a baking sheet in room temperature.
Imagine that January Sunday afternoon that you’re feeling blue and thinking to yourself about how you’re missing all Christmas excitement. That’s the time you’re going to smile and take out a batch of these coconut thumbprint cookies out of the freezer and defrost them, biting into one and be like: “You were right Shadi, these are good!”
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Notes and tips to make classic thumbprint cookies recipe:
- This recipe doesn’t call for the dough to be refrigerated. However, you can make the dough ahead of time, wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake cookies. Once you start preheating the oven, take the dough out of the fridge and place it on the counter to come to room temperature. Then proceed with the instructions to bake the cookies.
- There are no leavening agents such as baking powder in this thumbprint cookies recipe.
- You can fill thumbprint cookies with anything you like including any type of jam, melted chocolate, ganache, caramel or lemon curd.
- Don’t over bake these coconut jam thumbprint cookies. 9-10 minutes would be enough to bake them. after 10 minutes, check the bottom of the cookie. If they’re golden, they’re baked enough.
You can easily make these cookies with your family. Start a cookie dough station, egg and coconut rolling station and thumb station! And once the cookies are ready, fill them with any fillings you like. It’s a fun activity to do with your family and/or friends. After all, we’re all here for a lot of fun!
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Egg white lightly beaten (optional)
- 1 cup Coconut Flakes (optional)
- 1 cup Raspberry Jam
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat butter and granulated sugar until fully creamy and incorporated.
- Add in the egg yolk and mix well.
- Mix in vanilla extract.
- Add in flour and mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until a dough forms.
- Roll a 1-inch ball of dough and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining dough until you have 36 dough balls.
- Roll each ball in the beaten egg and then in the coconut flakes (optional step).
- Place the balls on the baking sheet, leaving a 2-inch space between them.
- Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each cookie. Fill the indentation with raspberry jam.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 9-10 minutes until the bottom of the cookies is golden.
- Cool the cookies on a rack and then serve.
- Rolling the cookie dough balls in beaten egg and coconut flake is an optional step. You can simply roll the Dough balls in granulated sugar and place them on the baking sheet.
- How to store thumbprint cookies: Simply place them in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to four days.
- How to freeze thumbprint cookies: Place the cookies on a baking sheet in one single layer and freeze for about one to two hours until they're fully frozen. Place them in a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 6 months. To defrost, take them out of the bag and place them on a baking sheet. Let them thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
- To prevent thumbprint cookies from spreading: Chill the cookie balls with jam in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour before baking, this will help the cookies not to spread too much.
- To prevent cracks on the edges of the cookies: Roll the cookie dough balls between your hands long enough to make sure they don't have any cracks or lines. Make the indentation rather narrow than wide.