Cute, tender, and jam-filled thumbprint cookies are simple, sweet, and always popular treats to fill your cookie jar. Plus they’re quick to make with your favorite fruity jam!
Thumbprint cookies are a classic two-bite treat popular with kids and adults alike. Usually filled with fruity jam, they’re soft, tender, and buttery. They’re like traditional sugar cookies with the added flavor and decorative addition of a pool of gem-like jam in the center. These thumbprints are baked with the filling, so they’re mess-free and travel well. Take them for a school snack, on a road trip, or over to a friend’s house for a celebration–you’ll definitely be invited back!
First, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the brown and white sugars to the butter and beat until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, continuing to beat well.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt well.With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Form the dough into balls 1 tablespoon-sized and roll into smooth balls.
You can use a tray to make the cookie balls perfectly round.
Roll the cookie balls in granulated sugar to coat and arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Press each cookie ball with your thumb or a scoop to make an indent in the center. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place jam in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for no more than 10 seconds, until warm and runny.Place a bit of jam into the center of each thumbprint, filing it to the top.
Make sure the cookies have at least 2 inches of space between them on the baking sheet and make for 11 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet fully before you serve.
You can serve them in a large bowl or a tray, and you can try it with a cup of tea or at the end of a dinner, as a dessert.
You can freeze these cookies either before or after baking. To freeze the dough, form it into the cookie balls, press with your thumb to imprint, then freeze. When you’re ready to bake, arrange the frozen cookies on a cookie sheet, fill them with jam and add a few minutes to the cooking time.
You can also freeze the cookies after baking. Just let them cool fully to room temperature before transferring them to a freezer-safe ziplock bag or container. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months. Simply let the cookies thaw on the counter before serving.
Otherwise, store the cookies at room temperature for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Thumbprint cookies may crack around the filling if you don’t roll the dookie dough smooth enough before baking. To avoid cracking, roll the dough totally smooth, and very gently press down with your thumb. If a crack appears before baking, press the dough back together with your hands.
Traditionally, thumbprint cookies are filled with berry jam. Raspberry, strawberry, apricot, blackberry, and blueberry jam are all delicious and colorful filling ideas.
To fill the cookies, you’ll form tablespoons of the dough into balls, rolling between your palms to ensure there are no fissures or tiny cracks visible. Then, place the cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and gently indent them with your thumb, and pour your jam into the well. It’s best to fill the cookies before baking because it helps the jam solidify, for easy to transport cookies.
Make sure you let your cookies cool fully on the baking sheet before you try to move them. This is also important for letting the jam settle and harden inside your cookies. It could still be very hot immediately out of the oven.
You can fill cookies after the oven, but the jam will remain runny and can get sticky and messy.
Plus, the cookies rise in the oven, so your indent might not be there when you take the baked cookies of their tray. You’ll need to quickly indent the cookies again, this time with a spoon because the cookies will be too hot to touch.
To keep your cookies button-like and round, measure your ingredients with a scale, rather than dry or liquid measuring cups. It’s more accurate.