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Easy Jam Thumbprint Cookies – Christmas Tradition

Jam thumbprint cookies are a Christmas tradition! In this simple recipe buttery dough is filled with sweet jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar for a delicious holiday cookie. Brighten up your Christmas cookie platter with these colorful jam cookies.

plate of jam thumbprint cookies

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Thumbprint cookies are an easy to make Christmas tradition! Fill the cookies with raspberry, strawberry or apricot jam for a festive burst of color and flavor.

I love jam filled cookies, like my the jam pinwheel cookies I make every year. These jam thumbprint cookies are a little bit simpler than pinwheel cookies and just as tasty!

Why You Will Love Jam Thumbprint Cookies

  • They are easy to make.
  • Thumbprint cookies are a great cookie for involving kids in the baking process.
  • You can use any flavor of jam in these cookies – so every family member can have their favorite cookie flavor.
  • They are classic cookies that bring back memories of past holidays.

Ingredients

These cookies are simple, so they use basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

  • Butter – These are buttery cookies! Most recipes call for unsalted butter, but I have always used salted butter with good results. This recipe will work best if the butter is at room temperature, so take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before making cookies.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar makes these cookies light colored.
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt – If you are using salted butter you could reduce the salt in the recipe by half.
  • Jam – I used apricot jam in these pictures but raspberry or strawberry jam is also classically used. You can use some more unusual flavors too like blueberry jam or gooseberry jam.
top view of thumbprint cookies on a wire rack

Step by Step Instructions

1. Cream the Butter and Sugar

Put the room temperature butter and sugar in a mixer bowl and mix it until it is light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes and you will want to stop the mixer at least once to scrape the side so everything gets well mixed in.

Then add the egg and vanilla to the mixer bowl and beat it for another minute.

2. Add the Flour

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir them briefly to mix them all together.

Then put the mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the butter mixture. Stir the flour in until it is just combined, trying not to over mix.

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3. Chill the Dough

Take the dough out of the mixer bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator since it will be much easier to work with if it is chilled for an hour. You can leave it chilling for up to 24 hours until you are ready to bake the cookies.

4. Bake the Cookies

Baking the cookies is a great place to get kids involved! They love playing around with the chilled dough and squishing the dough.

For the best results bake the cookies on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it into 1 inch balls.

pressing the well into the cookies

Put the balls on the baking sheets, keeping them spread about 3 inches apart. Use your thumbprint or a rounded teaspoon to press down into the middle of the cookies, making a well.

Fill each well with jam, but be careful not to add too much jam to each one. Just fill them up the top of the well you made. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes until they are just starting to turn golden brown.

tray of thumbprint cookies before baking

Once the cookies are done baking let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. If you are making multiple batches it is best to let the cookies sheets cool before making the next batch.

How to Serve

You can serve the cookies as is, or you can sprinkle some powdered sugar over them before serving. The powdered sugar looks like snow on the cookies so it goes well with Christmas themed cookies!

dusting powdered sugar over the thumbprint cookies

These buttery shortbread cookies are delicious and you can change them up by using different types of jam which makes them looks even more bright and festive.

Lots of cookies taste best warm out of the oven, but I think these jam thumbprint cookies are best once they have cooled. The flavor of the jam really shines through.

closeup of thumbprint cookie with apricot jam

How to Store

These cookies keep well in an airtight container for about 5 days. You can freeze these cookies if you want to make them ahead of the holidays.

To freeze them put them in a freezer container or freezer bag and use waxed paper between the layers to keep the jam from getting all over.

plate of apricot jam thumbprint cookies with powdered sugar

Find More Holiday Cookies

Yield: 24

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

top view of thumbprint cookies on a wire rack

Jam thumbprint cookies are a Christmas tradition!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup jam - apricot, raspberry, strawberry or other
  • powdered sugar for dusting on top

Instructions

  1. Put the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, stopping once to scrape the bowl. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla to the mixer bowl and beat again for 1 minute.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt and stir to mix. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Take the dough out of the mixer and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or as much as 24 hours.
  5. When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350 F. Put parchment paper or silicone baking mats on your baking sheets.
  6. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and put them on the cookie sheets, leaving space between them. Use your thumb or a rounded teaspoon to make a well in the center of each cookie.
  7. Use a spoon to fill each well with your desired flavor of jam, making sure not to overfill the cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden brown.
  9. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then take them off and put them on wire racks.
  10. Once they are completely cool sprinkle them with powdered sugar if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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top view of jam thumbprint cookies on a plate
Jam thumbprint cookies are a Christmas tradition! In this easy recipe buttery shortbread dough is filled with sweet jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar for a delicious holiday cookie. Brighten up your Christmas cookie platter with these colorful jam cookies, just like grandma used to make. Perfect for any kind of jam including raspberry, apricot or strawberry.
By on March 8th, 2020

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