We love classic thumbprint cookies in my family. These are delicious all year long, not just as Christmas cookies. This post contains some affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
While I always made chocolate chip cookies with my mom, my gram and I baked all the thumbprint cookies. The biggest decision we made: What flavor jam do we use this time?
I almost always chose a red fruit because I love them – cherry, raspberry, or strawberry.
Now that I make them on my own, sometimes I use one of my thick fruit syrups instead. My blueberry syrup has a surprising and delicious flavor, while the cherry syrup reminds me of what I used to make with my Gram.
Back in the day, my kids’ school let us bring in baked goods as treats for parties. While this is no longer the case, these were my go to. Why? They have no nuts and no eggs, two common allergies in both my kids’ classes.
While not perfectly allergy friendly, they cover two major allergies, which make these a good choice for pot lucks. When my Gram and I made these, we used almond extract – which obviously has nuts – in place of the vanilla, so know you can substitute almond extract if nuts aren’t a concern.
Whenever we make cookies, my daughter begs for these. In fact, they’re my husband’s favorite cookie, too.
Looking for more great cookie ideas? See more of my favorites at the end of this article.
How to Make Classic Thumbprint Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees before you begin making your cookies. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the almond extract and mix until well-combined.
Note that the classic recipe uses almond extract. If you have a nut issue, simply substitute the almond extract for vanilla in both the cookies and glaze. However, you want to use one teaspoon vanilla instead of one half teaspoon almond extract.
Add the flour to your bowl and stir until just mixed. This makes a very thick dough that will crumble just a bit.
Use a spoon or your thumbs to make a good indentation in the center of each cookie. Be sure you have a “wall” all the way around the divot in each cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes until they start to turn slightly golden and crack just a touch. The crack in a cookie is your secret sign that it’s ready to come out of the oven.
Use a spoon to make your original dent in the center more pronounced. Do not use your fingers again, as these cookies are hot from the oven. No burning yourself!
Immediately spoon a bit of preserves into each divot. Stop just a touch before the top of the cookie, which gives you room to add the glaze later.
Let the cookies cool with the preserves in them until they reach room temperature. If you are impatient, the glaze simply slides off the cookies and melts into the preserves, not that I know this from experience.
Mix together the powdered sugar and almond extract. Slowly dribble in water until the glaze reaches the consistency you like. I go a little thicker but still pourable.
Spoon just enough glaze onto each cookie to cover the jam, but don’t let it spill over the edges. This should make just enough glaze for each cookie.
Let your cookies harden for 10-15 minutes before eating… if you can! Store them in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze them for up to a month. Use wax or parchment paper to separate cookie layers so they don’t stick together.
- 2/3 c sugar
- 1 c butter, softened
- 1/2 t almond extract
- 2 c flour
- 1/2 c preserves
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 t almond extract
- 2-3 t water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add almond extract and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and stir until just mixed.
- Scoop onto cookie sheet with lined with a silpat (if you don't have one, use an UNgreased cookie sheet). Use a spoon or your thumbs create a well in the center of each cookie. Bake at 350 14-18 minutes until cookies just start to color.
- Use a spoon to deepen the initial holes in each cookie. Spoon preserves into each divot. Let cookies cool to room temperature.
- Mix together powdered sugar and almond extract. Slowly dribble in water until glaze reaches the consistency you like. Spoon glaze onto each cookie to cover preserves.
- Let glazed cookies harden 10-15 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to a month.
If you want to ensure these cookies are nut free, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla in place of the 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in both the cookies and the glaze. Traditionally, we use almond extract but in a nod to allergies, we often go with vanilla instead.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 110 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 42mg Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Protein: 1g
What’s your favorite preserve to use in thumbprint cookies?
More favorite cookie recipes:
- Peppermint chocolate cookies
- Apricot crescent cookies
- Triple chocolate dipped cookies
- Cherry Garcia cookies
- Chewy lemon cookies
- Cherry pie cookies
- Hot chocolate cookies
- Double chocolate chunk cherry cookies
- Egg nog cookie (contest winner!)
- Watermelon slice cookies
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