Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a Christmas cookie classic that I bake and freeze in mass quantities in preparation for the Holidays. These easy and tasty cookies are such a favorite that I carve out a few hours on a weekend to bake up a batch.
I'm an uber fan of how these cookies give me a way to show off my delicious 2 ingredient homemade jam without looking like I'm being obnoxious. "Here, would you like a cookie?" "Oh that jam? Yes, it IS delicious. Thank you, I made that." See, it's perfect. Of course the fact that the jam thumbprint cookies taste good is pretty dang awesome, too!
For full honesty... these are with store bought apricot jam. My hubby's fave is apricot and when I'm in a hurry I simply buy my favorite brand. Go ahead...use that store bought jam!
As with most our cookie and cake recipes, these cookies get their start as humble ingredients. And you know our philosophy...simple ingredients should be the BEST ingredients.
Go ahead and head to your local farm or co-op and grab farm fresh eggs and milk. I swear the cookies will taste better ;).
Why do we beat butter and sugar together?
Beating butter and sugar together creates little bubbles of air in the dough that our baking powder gets into and rises in. So...beating your butter and sugar helps make your finished product fluffier.
Why are they called Jam Thumbprint Cookies?
Jam Thumbprint cookies are called that for an obvious reason... thumbs are pressed into the dough prior to cooking to create a depression that holds your jam. A thumbprint holds the jam... Jam Thumbprint! I know, it's just too ridiculously cute!
Note: These are a fun cookie for little people to help with. Their little fingers are absolutely precious for pressing the thumbprints. And boy oh boy do they love that job!
One of the best parts of these cookies is how customizable they are. Pick the jam flavors your family loves or use multiple flavors! Use homemade jams or feel free to use purchased jam (like the apricot jam I did here) for a faster, easier cookie. It's about the fun, family, and joy!
We sometimes get questions about this black cooling rack. It's just a cheap-o cooling rack you can get at most stores, or you can buy one online if you prefer.
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the BEST Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 ¾ c + 2 tbsp/225g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp/2g baking powder
- ½ tsp/3g salt
- ¾ c/170g unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ c/135g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp/5ml vanilla extract
- ½ c/170g apricot jam
- 1 c/150g finely chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheets with baking parchment paper.
- Combine butter and sugar in a bowl. Whip with a handheld mixer or stand mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy.
- Combine in egg and vanilla. Beat until fully blended.
- Add dry ingredients in two additions, mixing on low speed until just combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this helps the dough hold the indentation shape when baking).
- Place chopped walnuts into small bowl. * the walnut steps are optional. You can skip the nuts, if you prefer.
- Scoop the dough into 1” balls. A round tsp scoop works well. Roll between your palms into an even ball. Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
- Roll in walnuts before placing on baking sheet. If walnuts are having trouble sticking, they may be too big and need to be chopped a bit more finely (be sure to pop the dough in the fridge if you find you need to chop them more finely).
- Repeat with remaining dough, placing balls 2” apart.
- With your thumb (or knuckle) press a ½” indentation in each ball.
- Scoop some jam into each indentation until they are slightly heaped, about ¾ tsp jam.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes until golden brown. If baking two sheets at once, rotate sheets halfway through the bake time and bake for an extra 1-2 minutes.