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Impossibly Easy Thumbprint Cookies

April 12, 2012

I swore I would never post this recipe because honestly I feel like I’m cheating when I make them.  With its less than extensive ingredient list and no shortage of recipes saturating the web, it just didn’t seem necessary.  Yes I find them beyond addictive and will frequently double the recipe so a few remain for my kids but they are just thumbprint cookies, right?

Well you can thank my friend Leigh for this post 🙂  We were catching up on our weekends and Easter brunches and Leigh let it slip that she was going to make my blueberry muffins but didn’t have baking powder.  As in, she never has baking soda or baking powder in her pantry because she doesn’t bake all that often.  I may have choked on my drink slightly.

So if you’re like Leigh or you have kids that like to bake or you’re hopelessly addicted to butter and jam and need a quick treat every once in a while, I highly recommend these.  These melt in your mouth cookies are buttery, rich yet delicate with a delicious jam center that adds a bit of tang to counteract the mellow shortbread.

One year ago: Salted Caramel Nutella Brownies

Impossibly Easy Thumbprint Cookies
Yields approximately 20 cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 cup flour
pinch of salt

1/4 cup jam of your choice (I like raspberry for the tanginess)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium size mixing bowl (or standing mixer) on medium speed about 3-5 minutes or until lightened in color and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk and extract.  Add flour and salt and beat on low speed until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl.

3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  This will chill it slightly but the dough will still be sticky, you can refrigerate for up to an hour but these are supposed to be “easy” cookies 🙂

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet in rows spaced 2 inches apart.  Dip your thumb (or knuckle) in a bit of water just so its clean and damp not dripping and press into the center of each cookie leaving a small indent.  Spoon a little jam into each indent just to fill the cavity, don’t overflow.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and the bottoms are a light brown.  Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely before eating-hot jam will burn the roof of your mouth (yes I speak from experience. what can I say, I’m impatient).

14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 1:29 pm

    I have never had a thumb print cookie. I think I may have to try making yours. 🙂

  2. April 12, 2012 4:06 pm

    Those look wonderful. I adore thumbprint cookies – they are so cute 😀

  3. April 12, 2012 9:45 pm

    Haha – this recipe is so apt right now for me! I just found out that these were called “thumb print” cookies. Looking forward to trying this recipe 🙂

  4. April 15, 2012 8:01 pm

    Very cute, they look great!

  5. Stephanie permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:50 am

    These are really easy! AND I LOVE them and cannot stop eating them. Also I think i will start buying jam regularly.

  6. December 23, 2012 2:44 pm

    These were really easy to make and tasted awesome! Thank you!

  7. donna permalink
    April 30, 2014 2:52 pm

    was these made with self rising flour or plain flour?

  8. December 23, 2014 2:29 pm

    Hello Purple Spoon!

    I was desperate for a quick and easy thumbprint cookie recipe, and you really delivered! I used my own Wineberry Jam as filling for the first batch. For the second batch, i mixed some chopped almonds and an egg white (left over from other baking project on this 12-23-2015) a 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, a Tablespoon of espresso powder, and a splash of Amaretto. So delicious too! My daughter loved the thumbprint cookies, but said the others tasted “too grownup.”

    Thanks so very much!



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