thumbprint cookies on a plate
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4.66 from 20 votes

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are a soft, but firm cookie with a jam-filled center that are deliciously popular, especially during the holidays.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chill time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, christmas cookies, cookies, jam
Servings: 164 cookies
Calories: 28cal
Author: Amanda Formaro



  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter softened (not melted)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Preserves flavors of your choice


  • Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg yolk, then slowly add the orange juice.
  • Slowly add in the flour until combined.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Measure out dough in level teaspoons to ensure uniform sizing. Roll balls in your hands to smooth, place on cookie sheet.
  • Use your thumb or pointing finger to gently press the center of the cookie, forming an indent. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, fill indents with preserves, lemon or lime curd, marmalade, or even apple butter. Return to oven and bake 5-6 minutes more, do not let them get brown.
  • Cool on wire racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.




  • These cookies are SMALL - hence using a TEASPOON to make the dough ball. You can make them bigger by using a tablespoon or regular sized cookie scoop and you will get about 45 cookies. 
  • I’ve made these thumbprint cookies with margarine and with butter and they come out great either way. Unsalted butter is my preference.
  • If you have a mixing spoon with a round flat end that will work great for making the indentations.
  • Calorie count does not include jam filling.
  • Use your thumb or pointing finger to gently press the center of the cookie, forming an indent. Pressing the cookie will cause it to lean to one side. After creating all the indents, I turn the cookie sheet around and repress each indent from the other side. This makes then stand back upright.
  • I like to use several different flavors of jam or preserves. My favorites are filled with lemon curd, but seedless blackberry preserves runs a very close second.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 28cal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 48IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg