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Thumbprint Cookies also called jam thumbprint cookies are a classic Christmas cookie. They are delicious and easy to make. This easy thumbprint cookie recipe is all you need to put a smile on anyone’s face especially during the Yuletide season. The combination of delicious strawberry jam and the perfect shortbread cookie dough turns this classic cookie into a culinary work of art. Ready in about 30 mins with just 4 ingredients and no eggs. Are you ready to learn how to make these jam cookies with step by step photos to guide you?
What are Thumbprint Cookies?
Thumbprint Cookies which is what Americans call these cookies is said to have originated from Sweden where it is called Hallongrotta which means raspberry cave in Swedish.
It is so called because of the indentation at the center of the cookies filled With fruit jam or preserve.
Hallongrotta refers to a cookie while Hallongottor refers to cookies. It is usually served with coffee or tea for an afternoon tea party in Sweden.
Recipe for Thumbprint Cookies
There are different variations of Thumbprint Cookies. This cookie is usually a made with vanilla based cookie dough.
My recipe for thumbprint Cookies uses my shortbread cookie dough which is one of my favorite cookie doughs to bake with. If you have egg allergies then this is the dough to use.
Other doughs like my favorite vanilla dough can be used as well but it’s not egg free.
And for my vegan readers, you can easily swap out the butter in my shortbread recipe for vegan butter and you have the best tasting vegan I
What ingredients do I need to make Thumbprint Cookies?
For this egg free Thumbprint Cookies all you need will be.
- All Purpose Flour
- Vanilla extract ( optional )
- Strawberry Jam or any fruit jam of choice.
How to make these Jam Thumbprint Cookies
★ This is just an overview. The full ingredients and instructions is in the recipe card further down the page. You can use the jump to recipe button above to take you straight to the recipe card.
Jam thumbprint Cookies are easy to make and a delight to enjoy. My kiddos enjoy spooning in the jam and licking the spoon after.
- Cream butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and flour. Mix all to form dough.
- Form dough into balls. Then create the thumbprints with your finger then spoon in the jam.
- Bake and enjoy.
What type of Jam should I use to make thumbprint cookies
Can I use preserves instead of jam to make thumbprint cookies
You can use preserves, Jam or jelly to make these cookies.
What is the difference between jam and preserves?
Preserves have large chunks of fruit in them. They are fruit chunks cooked in sugar until they are very soft and then they are put in a jelly like base.
Jam is made from mashed fruits cooked in sugar with addition of pectin. Pectin is what gives jams and jellies the jelly like consistency.
How to make the indentation in the cookie for the Thumbprint Cookies.
As the name implies the indentation is traditionally made with your thumb see Pictorial below. But alternatively you can make the indentation with the back of a rounded measuring spoon. But that would be cheating and not a ‘Thumbprint cookie” ? just kidding!
Mold the cookie into 1 oz (29gm) balls then indent with your finger in your palm or on the baking sheet
Tips to making the perfect Thumbprint Cookies
- Butter should be cold but not firm
- Chill dough for about 30 mins before molding into 1oz balls.
- Jam should be room temperature so that it isn’t stiff when scooping into the Thumbprints. (If you forget to get it out of the refrigerator, you can always pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up.)
Can I make thumbprint cookies ahead?
Yes there are two ways to make these cookies ahead.
Method 1: Make the dough, wrap in cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.
When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for a few hours till it’s pliable. Form the cookie balls, make your indention, fill with jam and bake.
Method 2: Bake the cookies up to 3 days ahead and store them in a parchment paper lined cookie box. Layer them with parchment paper in between each layer. Don’t worry about the jam sticking. Baking the jam creates a glossy film over the jam filling that’s not sticky.
How to store thumbprint cookies
Thumbprint cookies can be stored in a cookie jar or any airtight container for up to a week.
This cookie recipe is the first in my learn make and share cookie series for Christmas. I Hope you get to try to these egg free thumbprint Cookies this season with your loved ones. Remember to share this post with your family and friends ❤️and in your favorite Facebook group.
Can’t wait to share tomorrow’s cookie recipe with you. Watch out for it.
Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies
- 3/4 cup Butter 12 Tbsp/ a stick and half
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1-3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Cream butter and sugar together till well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract then add flour and mix till it comes together in a ball. About a minute.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 30mins
- Bring out from refrigerator after 30mins then mold into 1 oz balls. Then smoothen the balls.
- Indent the balls with your thumb (see pictures in post.)
- Scoop about 1/2 -1 tsp of strawberry jam into the indents.
- Bake in the oven for 15-18 mins ( until the edges begin to brown)
- Let cool then enjoy.
- I like to measure the balls to make sure they equal so they bake evenly but you can eyeball it or use a table spoon.
- Allow the cookie some cooling time before digging in. Because the jam can be really hot.