Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies are a simple, classic shortbread recipe. Easy to prepare with a buttery base and a teaspoon of a favorite jam in the center. They are perfect for a holiday party or as a sweet treat for any day.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- These homemade thumbprint shortbread cookies will look great on your next cookie tray.
- You can change up the flavors of these cookies by using different jams to make them!
- These cookies are buttery shortbread cookies filled with a fruity jam, which makes them the perfect mix of sweet and fruity.
- A fabulous cookie to add to a cookie exchange recipe list!
- unsalted butter, softened
- granulated white sugar
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
- jam, we use ⅓ cup of three different jams
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- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- stand mixer
- paddle attachment
- mixing bowl
- cookie scoop
This is an overview of the recipe. The full instructions are below in the recipe card.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Halfway through, scrape down the sides of the bowl to reincorporate the butter and sugar so everything is combined well.
Beat in vanilla extract until blended.
At a low speed on the mixer, slowly beat in the flour until just incorporated.
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough into 1-inch balls and place the dough balls prepared baking sheets, about 1" apart.
Use an inverted tablespoon to press down on the cookies, flattening them and making a small dip in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Immediately after baking, press the tablespoon back into each indent, as they likely baked up a bit and aren't as deep.
Cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
Fill each cookie thumbprint with approximately 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons jam.
Thumbprint cookies can be stored in an airtight covered container for up to 7 days.
Freezer Instructions, the jam thumbprint cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Prior to adding the jam, place the cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Once frozen they can be placed into freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months.
Expert Tip: Make sure that your butter is completely at room temperature before you start mixing your cookie dough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, thumbprint cookies can be frozen for up to two months in an airtight container.
No, you can use any type of filling that you like in thumbprint cookies. We like jams because they are fruity and sweet, but you could also use Nutella.
I recommend making these cookies no more than one day before you plan to enjoy them.
- For extra festive cookies, you can roll the cookie dough into colored sprinkles before baking.
- For Spring holidays, lemon curd would be a great addition in the center of these cookies.
- Instead of filling these cookies with jam, try filling them with homemade buttercream frosting for an extra sweet and creamy cookie.
- Drizzle on a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk, or an extra hint of sweetness after you have filled the cookies.
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If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
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Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Halfway through, scrape down the sides of the bowl to reincorporate the butter and sugar so everything is combined well.
- Beat in vanilla extract until blended.
- At a low speed on the mixer, slowly beat in the flour until just incorportated.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1" apart.
- Use an inverted tablespoon to press down on the cookies, flattening them and making a small dip in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Immediately after baking, press the tablespoon back into each indent, as they likely baked up a bit and aren't as deep.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
- Fill each cookie thumbprint with approximately 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons jam.