Air Fryer Thumbprint cookies make a delicious treat! Soft, buttery dough combines with sweet jam for the perfect combination of flavors. And with an air fryer, baking Christmas cookies is even faster. You can cook these air fryer strawberry thumbprint cookies in about 7 minutes to enjoy warm, fresh cookies.
I know it’s hard to choose the best Christmas cookie recipe! We’ve all got our favorite cookies that we remember from childhood and holidays. For me, Thumbprint cookies have always been a family tradition.
They are kid-friendly, fun and easy to make, and the combination of sweet dough with a burst of flavor from strawberry jam is fantastic. And just because my mom never made these cookies in the air fryer doesn’t mean it isn’t a great twist to a family recipe!
🎄Small Batch Christmas Cookies
An advantage of making air fryer cookies is that you can make a small batch of cookies without heating up the house. If you want six dozen cookies to take to a school party, use the oven! But if you just want a few fresh, warm cookies for a quick snack, an air fryer is ideal.
My air fryer makes 8-10 cookies at a time, which is plenty for my family’s sweet tooth and keeps us from overindulging. Any extra dough from this recipe can easily be frozen or used to make other holiday cookies.
Love classic cookies? Check out my recipes for air fryer snickerdoodles or air fryer chocolate chip cookies!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Jelly or Jam – Pick your favorite flavor! I used strawberry jam, but apricot or raspberry jam are also favorites in these classic cookies.
Butter and shortening – Butter and shortening help give these cookies their rich flavor.
Instant vanilla pudding – Adding a packet of instant pudding mix gives these cookies a soft texture.
Powdered sugar: Sprinkle the cooked cookies with powdered sugar to add a snowy look.
The remaining ingredients are pantry staples, including granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and salt.
🥣How to Make Air Fryer Thumbprint Cookies
1. Make the Cookie Dough
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter, shortening, and white sugar in a mixing bowl. Once it is fluffy and well combined, add the eggs, vanilla extract, and instant pudding powder and mix well.
Mix the baking powder and salt with the flour in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time, and mix until combined.
2. Form the Cookies
There is no need to refrigerate this homemade cookie dough. Use a cookie scoop to make balls of dough about 1 1/2 inches in size and put them on a plate or cutting board. Make 8-10 cookie dough balls, or however many will fit in your air fryer.
Use your fingers or the bottom of a drinking glass to slightly flatten the cookies to about 1/2 inch thick. Then press the center with thumb or a teaspoon to make a well. Fill the well with strawberry jam.
3. Air Fry the Cookies
Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes. Place a sheet of parchment paper in the basket after preheating. Never preheat with a piece of parchment paper inside!
Place the filled cookies on the parchment paper, keeping them in a single layer about 1 1/2 inches apart. These cookies will spread a little bit, but not much.
Air fry them at 350 F for 5-8 minutes. They will be light golden brown on top, with the middle just set when they are done. Leave the thumbprint cookies in the air fryer basket for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
4. Powdered Sugar (optional)
Sprinkle powdered sugar on the cookies to give them a snowy look.
🍪Making Multiple Batches of Cookies
My 5.8-quart Cosori air fryer makes about 8 cookies per batch. This recipe makes enough for about 40 cookies. So you can make another batch cookies or save the dough to make later. See the freezing instructions here.
In addition, this cookie dough can make other air fryer cookies, including Christmas M&M cookies, Sugar cookies, and Hershey Kiss cookies.
So you can use the rest of the dough to make other kinds of cookies and end up with 40 tasty cookies of many different types for your holiday cookie tray. Check out the individual posts for your favorite varieties!
💭How to Store
Store the air fryer thumbprint cookies in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. To freeze, let them cool for a few hours to set the jam. Then freeze them in a freezer-safe container separated by layers of parchment paper. They will keep for about a month in the freezer.
🧊Freezing the Dough
This dough freezes well. I generally divide it into 4 parts, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it in a freezer-safe container. I can make 8-12 cookies per dough portion. Put the dough in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make it, and let it thaw.
⭐Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Thumbprint Cookies
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- Use softened butter in the recipe.
- Never preheat the air fryer with parchment paper inside.
- Flatten the cookies slightly and add the jam before air frying.
The air fryer bakes quickly, which means the cookies don’t have much time to spread. Without flattening, the outside will cook before the inside of the cookies.
Yes, you can bake this classic recipe in the oven. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.
Parchment paper isn’t essential, but it is recommended. It will help keep the cookies from sticking and make cleanup easier. You can buy perforated parchment paper perfectly sized for most air fryer baskets or cut your own.
No, since there is such a small amount of jam in the cookies, they can safely be stored at room temperature.
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Air Fryer Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cup flour
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup jam strawberry, raspberry, or your favorite kind
- 1/8 cup confectioners sugar optional
- Place the butter, shortening, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cream them together with an electric mixer.¾ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar
- Add in eggs, vanilla, and instant pudding mix. Continue mixing until thoroughly incorporated.2 eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt.2 ½ cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a third at a time, mixing between additions, until the flour is combined.
- Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes.
- Use a dough scoop or spoon to make tablespoon size balls.
- Flatten the cookie balls slightly with your fingers, pushing them down until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Then use a teaspoon or your thumb to make a well in the center. Fill each well with a teaspoon of jam.1/4 cup jam
- Once preheated, add a parchment paper liner to the basket. Place the thumbprint cookies on the parchment paper, keeping them about 1 inch apart. Make multiple batches if necessary.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes or until set and golden brown.
- Remove from the air fryer and let them cool in the basket for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire baking rack to cool completely.
- Optional: Dust the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar for a seasonal snowy look.1/8 cup confectioners sugar
One Dough, 4 CookiesUse this same cookie dough to make other air fryer cookie recipes! See here for all the classic cookies you can create and make some festive treats for the holidays.
Freezing the DoughThis dough freezes well. Divide it into 4 parts, wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. I can make 8-12 cookies per dough portion. Put the frozen cookie dough in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make it, and let it thaw.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.