Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

thumbprint cookies the ultimate best!

(47 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Deb Crane
Eagle, WI

This is the only thumbprint cookie recipe I will ever use. They turn out delicate and delectable! Other recipes yield dry and tasteless cookies.... not this recipe! This one has never failed me. Feel free to double this recipe as you will want more! Use whatever jam or filling you desire. Also, I just made these again with my grandchildren. We didn't add the nuts and they still turned out great! Have the kids roll the dough into balls and poke their thumbs into them... they had a blast creating these cookies! :)

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Reminiscent of pecan sandies, these gorgeous cookies are as tasty as they are festive. This is a classic, buttery cookie that isn't overly sweet and slightly crisp. It's the perfect vessel for the touch of sweet jam. These beautiful cookies would make a tasty addition to any dessert table.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(47 ratings)
yield serving(s)
prep time 20 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For thumbprint cookies the ultimate best!

  • 1 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1 stick
    butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 c
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1
    egg yolk (reserve egg white for glossing the tops of the cookies if you want)
  • 3/4 c
    chopped walnuts (or other nut if you wish) *optional
  • 1/2 c
    jam, preserves, spreads of your choosing. *see notes in directions

How To Make thumbprint cookies the ultimate best!

  • Flour and salt combined in a bowl.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Whipping butter until light and fluffy.
    In a separate mixer, whip butter, that has been at room temperature, until light and fluffy.
  • Adding egg yolk.
    Add the sugar, and blend until light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk and blend. Add the vanilla and blend.
  • Slowly adding flour.
    Add in the flour and salt mixture and beat until blended. If adding the nuts, add them next and blend until it forms a dough ball. This is easier with a Kitchen Aid blender.
  • Balls of dough on a baking sheet.
    With the dough, take small teaspoon size portions and roll them into little balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet (or parchment-lined cookie sheet). Make them small and space them on the cookie sheets (they grow when they cook!).
  • Wells pressed into the dough balls.
    Into each ball on the cookie sheet, indent it with your thumb or finger (or even knuckle).
  • Cookies baking in the oven.
    Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Dropping jam into the center of the cookie.
    Take them out of the oven. They will have puffed up a bit and the indentation will be fairly lost at this point. Again, indent the cookies with the back of a spoon this time, while still hot. Place whatever filling you would like (about a 1/2 teaspoon in each cookie).
  • Thumbprint cookies baked with golden brown edges.
    Return them to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the rims of the cookies (the fillings might even "bubble" a bit, but that is ok).
  • A plate of Thumbprint Cookies.
    *Any favorite jam, jelly, or filling can be used in these cookies. The ones shown here, are apricot and strawberry preserves. Jellies tend to be more "runny" but will still work as well... depends on what you like and what you have on hand, but it is only limited to your imagination and tastes! Make this recipe your own by adding whatever your family likes. :) Seriously good cookies! And like I said, you might want to double this recipe because they do not last long at all! :)