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Enjoy the sweet simplicity of homemade Thumbprint Cookies with this easy small batch recipe. Perfect when you crave something homemade but don’t want a huge batch, this recipe makes 6 buttery, jam-filled cookies. Made with everyday pantry staples and no need to chill the dough, just mix, bake, and enjoy! These delightful treats feature a charming dollop of jam in the center. Ideal for a quick sweet snack or an appealing addition to your dessert spread, these Thumbprint Cookies are a wonderfully effortless choice for any day.

If you’re looking for more small batch cookie recipes, check out our scrumptious Frosted Sugar Cookies, spicy Ginger Cookies, buttery Shortbread Cookies, classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, and colorful M&M Cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Easy to Make: No intricate steps or chilling required, making these cookies a breeze to prepare.
  2. Small Batch Convenience: Yields 6 cookies, ideal for when you don’t need a large batch.
  3. Classic Flavors: Buttery, sweet, and complemented by your favorite jam.
  4. Versatile: Suitable for any occasion, from casual snacks to special gatherings.
  5. Customizable: Easy to adapt with different jams or toppings.
Thumbprint Cookies dusted with powdered sugar on a plate.

What Are Thumbprint Cookies?

Taking inspiration from Sweden’s ‘Hallongrotta’ or ‘raspberry cave’, our Thumbprint Cookies share a similar charm. These globally cherished treats boast a shortbread-like texture with a cozy well in the center, usually brimming with jam. Their allure is found in the tender, buttery bite and the delightful sweetness of the jam filling, reminiscent of the beloved Swedish classic.

Ingredients

ingredients to make thumbprint cookies on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this thumbprint cookie recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Butter: Provides richness and structure. For a dairy-free version, use a plant-based butter.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cookies.
  • Egg Yolk: Essential for adding moisture and binding the dough. It’s important to use only the yolk and not the whole egg, even if you’re doubling the recipe. Using the entire egg can significantly alter the taste and texture of the cookies, leading to a less desirable outcome. Stick to the yolk to maintain the cookies’ ideal consistency and rich flavor. Consider using the egg white in any of our egg white recipes like Meringue Cookies or Two Vanilla Cupcakes.
  • Vanilla: Enhances flavor. Almond extract is a great alternative.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works best. For a gluten-free version, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.
  • Jam: Choose any flavor of store-bought or homemade jam you like. Ensure it’s at room temperature for easier handling.

Recipe Variations

Explore the delightful versatility of thumbprint cookies with these creative variations.

  • Chocolate Ganache Center: Enhance your thumbprint cookies with the same rich chocolate ganache we use in our Boston Cream Pie. This filling adds a touch of luxury and decadence, making each cookie an exquisite treat.
  • Rolled in Nuts: Before baking, roll the dough balls in finely chopped nuts for a crunchy, nutty exterior.
  • Citrus-Infused Dough: Add 1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon or orange zest to the dough for a refreshing citrus flavor.
  • Spiced Version: Incorporate a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg into the dough for a warm, aromatic twist.
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How To Make Thumbprint Cookies

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of thumbprint cookies. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

creamed butter and sugar mixing bowl.
  1. Start by Creaming: Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This process should take about 1 minute for the best texture.
creamed butter, sugar, an egg yolk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  1. Incorporate Egg Yolk and Vanilla: Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the mixture, blending well to ensure a uniform consistency.
thumbprint cookie dough in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add Flour: Gently mix in the flour, ensuring it’s fully incorporated into the batter.
rolled balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet.
  1. Form the Cookies: Scoop the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized portions and place them on a cookie sheet. Roll each portion into a smooth ball.
pressing a hole in the center of rolled cookie dough to form a thumbprint.
  1. Create the Thumbprint: Press a hole into the center of each ball, using your thumb or a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon for uniformity.
spooning jam into the center of six cookies on a baking sheet.
  1. Add the Jam: Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each thumbprint.
Six baked thumbprint cookies on a baking sheet.
  1. Bake to Perfection: Place the cookies in the oven and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re perfectly set and lightly golden.

Pro Tip: Consider sprinkling powdered sugar over the baked thumbprint cookies. This adds a delightful touch, particularly when presenting these cookies as part of a holiday food gift.

Expert Tips

  • Before starting, it’s important to read the entire recipe and the detailed Ingredient Notes section. We’ve included comprehensive information to guarantee your thumbprint cookies turn out perfectly every time. Since these cookies are quick to make, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the recipe and have all ingredients prepped and ready to go before beginning.
  • Optional Sugar Coating: While I typically don’t do this, you have the option to roll the balls of cookie dough in granulated sugar for added sweetness and texture. This step is entirely up to your preference.
  • Accurate Measuring: For the best results, spoon your flour into a dry measuring cup rather than scooping it directly. Overfill the cup slightly, then level it off with a straight-edged utensil like the back of a knife. Scooping packs the flour too tightly, leading to an inaccurate measurement that can affect your cookie’s texture.
  • Jam Consistency: Room temperature jam is easier to spoon and won’t stiffen the dough.
an assortment or raspberry filled thumbprint cookies next to cookies filled with orange marmalade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make thumbprint cookies in advance?

Absolutely! They store well in an airtight container for up to a week.

What jam works best in thumbprint cookies?

Any type! Raspberry, strawberry, orange marmalade, and apricot are popular choices.

Do I need to refrigerate thumbprint cookies?

There is no need to refrigerate thumbprint cookies. Store them at room temperature for up to a week.

Can I freeze thumbprint cookies?

Yes, you can freeze thumbprint after they have baked and cooled. You will want the filling to be completely set before freezing. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Alternatively, you can freeze thumbprint cookies before baking. Follow the recipe instructions as written up to rolling the dough and making the indentations. After making the indentations, place the unbaked cookies on the baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours. Once frozen through, transfer them to an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Can I double this thumbprint cookie recipe?

Yes, just double the ingredient amounts to make 1 dozen cookies.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this thumbprint cookie recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve made this thumbprint cookies recipe, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 cookies
Bake 6 buttery Thumbprint Cookies with this simple recipe! Perfect for a quick, delightful treat filled with your favorite jam. Easy and delicious!

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350° F (177° C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This process should take about 1 minute for the best texture.
  • Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the mixture, blending well to ensure a uniform consistency.
  • Gently mix in the flour, ensuring it’s fully incorporated into the batter.
  • Scoop the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon-sized portions and place them on a cookie sheet. Roll each portion into a smooth ball.
  • Press a hole into the center of each ball, using your thumb or a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon for uniformity.
  • Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each thumbprint.
  • Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re perfectly set and lightly golden.
    Pro Tip: Consider sprinkling powdered sugar over the baked thumbprint cookies. This adds a delightful touch, particularly when presenting these cookies as part of a holiday food gift.

Notes

  • Before starting, it’s important to read the entire recipe and the detailed Ingredient Notes section. We’ve included comprehensive information to guarantee your thumbprint cookies turn out perfectly every time. Since these cookies are quick to make, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the recipe and have all ingredients prepped and ready to go before beginning.
  • Optional Sugar Coating: While I typically don’t do this, you have the option to roll the balls of cookie dough in granulated sugar for added sweetness and texture. This step is entirely up to your preference.
  • Accurate Measuring: For the best results, spoon your flour into a dry measuring cup rather than scooping it directly. Overfill the cup slightly, then level it off with a straight-edged utensil like the back of a knife. Scooping packs the flour too tightly, leading to an inaccurate measurement that can affect your cookie’s texture.
  • Jam Consistency: Room temperature jam is easier to spoon and won’t stiffen the dough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 137kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 62mg, Potassium: 17mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 274IU, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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5 Comments

  1. Nancy says:

    Just enjoying the small batch recipes since there are the two of us, Pap&Gram. May I ask you a question? Do you make anything with no gluten, or dairy? Thanks so much. Gram&Pap from Western Pennsylvania.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m so happy you are both are enjoying our recipes! Yes, we do offer many gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. To find them, click on “Recipes” at the top of any page. Then, go to “Recipes By Diet” and select the type you’re looking for.

      Thanks so much for reaching out!

  2. Sonya Sano says:

    Yummy. Just made these with some cherry jam I had made. I also rolled them in walnuts before baking. Perfect amount of cookies for me! Super simple recipe and delicious

  3. J. Hegyi says:

    Great recipe.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you.