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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!

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

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!

PIN IT to make later!

Have a Merry delicious day!

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  • Reply
    December 11, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    The best cookies to make with little ones.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Thanks I was just looking for this recipe.cant wait to try.i am using my homemade white peach jam.

    • Reply
      December 13, 2015 at 1:44 PM

      Oh that sounds delicious! Homemade jam is the best! Happy baking!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    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!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2018 at 1:58 PM

    How well do these freeze? Can I make them and bake later?

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      November 21, 2018 at 5:19 PM

      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.

      • Reply
        December 14, 2020 at 8:37 AM

        Hi, I was wondering how long you would freeze the dough for.

        • Reply
          Jo-Anna Rooney
          December 14, 2020 at 11:56 AM

          Hi! You can freeze the uncooked dough for probably 3 months. Just bring it up to room temperature before you shape and roll it.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM

    5 stars
    Amazing!!!! Went fast

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      December 20, 2018 at 4:16 PM

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them Jasmine! They go fast here too!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    5 stars
    A super easy to make and delicious cookie!

  • Reply
    June 24, 2019 at 10:01 AM

    5 stars
    soo good

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      June 24, 2019 at 1:23 PM

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! They’re a fave here too!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    5 stars
    best cookies ever!!!!!!

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      August 15, 2019 at 11:55 AM

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them! They really are SO good!!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2020 at 2:24 AM

    Love theses! this cakes will definitely be on my list for this coming Christmas season! THanks for sharing

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 8:02 PM

    5 stars
    Can you put them in the refrigerator over night, until you serve them the next day?

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      November 13, 2020 at 10:16 AM

      You can, but I don’t usually refrigerate them at all.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2020 at 6:42 PM

    Hi, the stated temp says 350 deg Celsius. Should it be Farenheit instead ; my oven max is 250 deg Celsius

  • Reply
    Jodie Donahoo
    December 23, 2020 at 1:19 AM

    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!!!

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      December 23, 2020 at 10:32 AM

      You’re so welcome! I’m so happy you love them as much as we do!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2021 at 11:10 AM

    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!

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