Baking/ Cookies/ Holidays/ Recipe

Thumbprint Cookies

November 4, 2019 (Last Updated: December 19, 2019)

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Delicious Thumbprint Cookies are perfect for gift giving, adding to a cookie tray, or packing into school lunches. 

Thumbprint cookies with different types of jam on a white plate.

What are thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint cookies are a delicious buttery cookie that are given a little impression in the center with a thumb. The center is then filled with jam and baked. 

What type of jam do I use to fill the cookies?

You can use any type of jam, jelly or marmalade to fill these cookies. I used raspberry jam, apricot jam, blackberry jam and apple butter.  They all tasted amazing, although the apple butter didn’t spread out like the jam does. 

A white platter filled with cookies with different types of jam baked into the cookies.

Do these cookies have nuts?

Yes, I added toasted pecans to these thumbprint cookies. The pecans add extra flavor and texture to the cookies. The nuts are roasted first to bring out the flavor and then finely chopped in a food processor. 

Pecan halves in a pan.

How do you roast pecans?

Place the pecans in a saute pan over medium low heat. Once the pecans become warm they slowly start to brown or roast. This browning brings out an extra level of flavor in the nuts. Once the nuts are lightly browned, remove from heat and allow to cool. Keep a close eye on the nuts. They go from browned to burnt in no time at all.  Use your nose to help determine when they are roasted. If you can smell them, they are done. 

How do you shape the cookies?

I like to use a small scoop to shape the cookies. You could also use a spoon to measure out the dough and then shape the dough into balls by rolling around in your hand. Either way works fine.

How do you form the impression in the cookie?

These are called thumbprint cookies and the best way to form the center of the cookie is with your thumb! However, I actually found my index finger easier to use. You could also use a rounded teaspoon to form a perfectly round impression. Use what works best for you. This is a perfect task for kids to help with. They love getting their fingers in and helping. If the dough is too sticky,  dampen your finger slightly with water and continue pressing. 

Pushing down on a round mound of cookie dough.

How do I store thumbprint cookies?

Once fully cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container. Separate each layer with a piece of waxed paper or a piece of parchment paper. The paper will help prevent the cookies from sticking to each other.

Can these cookies be frozen?

Yes, these cookies can be frozen. Follow the same steps for storing the cookies and then place in a freezer for up to three months. When ready to use, simply remove container from freezer and allow cookies to sit at room temperature until fully thawed. 

A plateful of thumbprint cookies.

How do I make thumbprint cookies?

Combine butter, and sugar together. Mix in vanilla

Cookie dough in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and nutmeg together. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine.

Add finely chopped pecans and mix .

Finely chopped pecans in a hand.

Cookie dough in a bowl with a paddle attachment.

Use a small scoop to form balls of dough. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Make a small impression in the center of each cookie and fill with jam. 

Thumbprint Cookies filled with jam on a baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes and then move to a baking rack to continue cooling. 

Jam filled cookies on a baking rack.




Tips for making thumbprint cookies

  • Stir jam before using. If the jam is too thick and won’t slide off a spoon, microwave for 15 seconds and stir jam again.
  • Place unbaked cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or coated lightly with a nonstick spray.
  • Bake in a preheated oven.

Other great cookie recipes

Equipment I used to make these cookies


Don’t forget to PIN for later!Small cookies filled with raspberry jam on a plate.


If you make this recipe, Iā€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my holiday baking recipes.

5 from 5 votes
Thumbprint cookies with different types of jam on a white plate.
Thumbprint Cookies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Delicious little cookies filled with your favorite jam.

Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, cookies with jam, jam filled cookies, thumbprint cookies
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 82.3 kcal
Author: Kathy
  • 1 1/2 c;ups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecans toasted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup jam
  1. Combine flour, salt and nutmeg together in a bowl. Set aside.

  2. In another bowl, add butter and mix until soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and combine.

  3. Stir in vanilla.

  4. Stir in flour mixture.

  5. Add finely chopped pecans and stir.

  6. Use a small scoop to measure out cookie dough and form a ball. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can also use a spoon to scoop out approximately 1 Tablespoon of dough and then roll dough in your hands to form a ball.

  7. Use your thumb or finger to make a small impression in center of cookie.

  8. Fill cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

  9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

  10. Allow baked cookies to cool for 1 minute before removing to a baking rack to continue cooling.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
  • I used salted butter in this recipe.
  • Stir jam before using. If the jam is too thick and won't slide off a spoon, microwave for 15 seconds and stir jam again.
  • Place unbaked cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or coated lightly with a nonstick spray.
  • Bake in a preheated oven.

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

Nutrition Facts
Thumbprint Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 82.3 Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.37g8%
Saturated Fat 2.57g16%
Cholesterol 10.17mg3%
Sodium 47.15mg2%
Potassium 16.5mg0%
Carbohydrates 8.22g3%
Fiber 0.34g1%
Sugar 4.27g5%
Protein 0.65g1%
Vitamin A 119.34IU2%
Vitamin C 0.33mg0%
Calcium 3.87mg0%
Iron 0.25mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    November 8, 2019 at 6:02 am

    5 stars
    Thumbprint cookies always remind me of the holidays! Love all the different colours you have going on here – so pretty! Love some right now with a big glass of cold milk šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    I love that you used a few different colored fillings for one batch. These are so festive and fun . . . and delicious! šŸ™‚ ~Valentina

  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    November 4, 2019 at 8:27 am

    5 stars
    These cookies just make me think of festive fun! I love the different colours of the jams. They’re such a great sweet treat to have on hand this time of year šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    November 4, 2019 at 6:19 am

    5 stars
    Thumbprint cookies have always been one of my favorites Kathy! It’s like two treats in one. You know my love for pecans, so I’m loving that addition to the dough too! Delicious!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    November 4, 2019 at 5:24 am

    5 stars
    Thumbprint cookies are such a fun addition to holiday cookie platters! I love how colorful they are with the different jams. I’m not sure I’ve ever had thumbprints with the chopped pecans though…I love it! The nuttiness combined with the jam would be pretty awesome! šŸ™‚

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