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Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies are a must make Christmas cookie recipe for your treat plate! Double the batch because they’re going to get eaten fast!

What is it about the Christmas season that just makes one feel like there needs to be dozens and dozens of cookies around?  I’m not complaining because I love cookies almost more than life itself.  I just find it fascinating that as soon as December hits it’s Christmas cookie madness all around.  That’s ok, I’ll jump on board…twist my rubber arm.  So now that we’ve decided that we must bake cookies, the biggest question is what kind?   Whipped Shortbread?  Rugelach?  Turtle Cookies?  Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies?  These are all favourites, but I’ve been craving thumbprint cookies, I just love a melt in your mouth cookie with jam…SO good.  So I made some.

These Christmas Thumbprint Cookies filled my craving and then some!

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Like brown sugar shortbread with jam!

Actually these are the best Christmas cookies I have made to date.  I’m not even kidding.  This batch only makes 15 cookies, and I’m telling you that is not enough…this recipe needs to be doubled.  They taste like a butter and brown sugar shortbread cookie with raspberry jam and the combination is intoxicating.  I made a batch in hopes of being able to send them with the kids to school in their lunches, but the first batch didn’t even make it to the next day, they’re that good.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Simple and delicious!

And I love that this isn’t a complicated recipe…there are no tricky ingredients or steps. You can make the dough and have fresh cookies ready in less than half an hour, all with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies {A Pretty Life}

Recipe Tips:

  • Jam: If you don’t like raspberry, these would be delicious with strawberry jam, apricot jam or peach jam, or even marmalade.  SO good.
  • Storage: Store these cookies in an airtight container.
  • Freezing: These cookies freeze well, just make sure that the jam doesn’t get crushed in packaging. Another option is that you can freeze the dough in 1 inch balls for up to 3 months, then let them thaw slightly before baking.
Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 2a{A Pretty Life}

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies are a must-make cookie recipe for your Christmas treat plate! Double the batch because they’re going to get eaten fast!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookie
  • Method: Baking


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • raspberry jam


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and combine.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes.
  9. Then remove from the oven and using your thumb, make an indent in the ball (circular to hold the jam).
  10. Using a small spoon add about a 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp of raspberry jam to the indent.
  11. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes more.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

Keywords: Christmas cookies, Christmas thumbprint cookies, thumbprint cookies

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Recipe adapted from allrecipes

I’m off to make another batch!  I hope you try these shortbread thumbprint cookies and love them as much as we do!

CLICK HERE for even more Christmas Cookies to make this season!

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Have a Merry delicious day!

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      1. Hi Joanna, absolutely love these cookies. I have made over 200 of them so far this year! Everyone loves them and think I can actually bake, so thank you for that.

  1. This recipe is duplicate to my recipe for birdnests ~ you roll them in the egg white and coconut and put a dab of raspberry jam in them. They are yummy!

    1. Hi Shazima! They freeze pretty well, as long as the jam doesn’t get crushed in packaging. Another option is that you could freeze the dough in 1 inch balls, then let them thaw slightly before baking.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these tonight and doubled the recipe, as you suggested. Now I’m really wishing I had quadrupled it! I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow! Thanks so much!!!

  3. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious!! I must have made mine a little smaller because I found I had to remove them from the ovenn10 minutes after I added the jam. They made 18 cookies. Will definitely be making these again!

  4. These cookies are amazing! I quadrupled the recipe and distributed them to friends and neighbors for Christmas. These are loved by all and I will make them every year!

  5. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t seem to work with vegan butter. They spread too much, and because of the oil content, the edges burn before the middle is cooked. I even rested the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes before forming the balls, in hopes that it would firm up a bit, but no such luck.