Easy, buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies are so delicious and simple to make. Fill ’em with your favorite jam and drizzle ’em with sweet almond glaze!
These cookies easily fall in my top 3 favorite cookies of all time. They’re a cinch to make, requiring just a few ultra-basic ingredients; they boast a ton of flavor despite their simplicity; and they’re the perfect little treat to tag along with your afternoon coffee or tea. I never truly appreciated shortbread until this recipe, but it’s a beautiful thing.
Be aware that these cookies do require a bit of chilling time, so you’ll need to set aside an extra 30 minutes or so. Letting them hang out in the freezer for a bit ensures a soft, puffy cookie rather than a sad, flat one. I know it seems terribly annoying and you just want a cookie now, but trust me on this one and embrace the chill.
I love adding almond extract to these cookies because it gives them a unique, kinda-store-bought-cookie-like flavor. If you don’t have it, though, no worries! I assure you they’re just as delicious with vanilla extract only.
Pro tip: scoop ’em kinda small. I use a rounded tablespoon measure to scoop my dough, because smaller cookies means you can eat more of them. And aren’t two cookies really better than one?
IF YOU MAKE THESE JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES, DON’T FORGET TO SNAP A PHOTO AND TAG ME IN IT ON INSTAGRAM @FEELINWHISKY! I LOVE SEEING WHAT YOU DO WITH MY RECIPES!Print
Easy Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Classic Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a sweet, buttery treat requiring just a few basic ingredients. Fill them with your favorite jam and drizzle them with glaze.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
For the cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup jam or preserves (I used strawberry, but raspberry or apricot are excellent here too)
For the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, optional
- Make the cookies: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Set mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Shut the mixer off and add the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and beat until a very soft dough is formed.
- Scoop the cookies: Scoop the cookie dough into tablespoon-sized balls and roll until they’re completely smooth, with no bumps or cracks. Use your thumb or the back of a rounded teaspoon to make an indentation in each ball. If the dough cracks when you press into it, smooth them out with your fingers as well as you can. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
- Fill the cookies and tray ’em up: Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill the indentation in each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Transfer to two parchment-lined, room-temperature baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13–15 minutes, or until lightly golden on the bottom. Do not overbake! These cookies should not brown.
- Cool ’em: Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Ice ’em: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and extract, if using. Drizzle over the completely cooled cookies (I used a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off to pipe my icing easily). Cookies will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.
- Make it vegan: Use vegan butter or coconut oil in place of butter, and ensure that your sugar is vegan.
- Make it gluten free: Use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour.
It feels a little silly to bake right now. When resources are scarce, do I really want to use up two whole cups of flour to make cookies? I could use that flour for something else, something infinitely more life-giving. But it’s clear that baking brings us some form of irreplaceable comfort that transcends understanding.
I’ve seen more people baking on social media over the past two weeks than I had in the past twenty years combined. It seems a natural thing to do given a bag of flour and a bit of solitude: the quiet whir of a mixer, the rhythmic thrum-thrum-thrum of a whisk against a bowl, the tactile bliss of dough beneath your fingers. Baking gives a kind of peace that you just can’t get anywhere else.
I’ve tried to stop questioning it. Maybe it is a little silly to bake, but maybe baking helps us steel ourselves against the headlines. Maybe it provides some sense of comfort and control, however small, when everything outside feels so deeply out of control. There’s a lot of power in deciding to do something kind for yourself when it all feels futile. So I’m just going to keep baking until it starts to make sense.