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These classic thumbprint cookies are made with a simple buttery shortbread cookie dough. They are really easy to make and they taste amazing. You can change up the flavor of these cookies by using any type of jam or preserves that you would like.
There is no added salt in this recipe, so you can use either salted or unsalted butter, as long as it is real butter. You will need to cream the butter and sugars together with an electric or stand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Mix the rest of the ingredients in by hand. When measuring the flour for these cookies, make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
The mixture may be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as it’s mixed. Use your hands if necessary. After the dough is fully mixed together it will be quite soft. It will be easier to work with once it’s been chilled. Press the dough down in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
After the dough has chilled. Preheat the oven to 350°. I use a small cookie scoop for these cookies which is approximately 1 tablespoonful of dough. Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place them on the baking sheet 2″ apart. For added sweetness or texture the dough balls can be rolled in granulated sugar, dried coconut, or finely chopped nuts if desired.
Use your thumb to press a well in the center of the dough ball. If the dough cracks when you press your thumb in you can try refrigerating the dough longer or just smooth the cracks out with your hands. They taste just as good with a few cracks. Fill each well with your favorite flavor of jam.
Bake just until the tops are set and the bottoms are lightly browned, approximately 13-15 minutes.
I got exactly 2 dozen cookies out of this recipe, but that could vary depending on how big you roll them out. I recommend doubling the recipe if you plan on sharing them.
If desired you can dust the finished cookie with powdered sugar or drizzle it with a glaze or melted white chocolate.
The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container, for a week or so. Although they never last that long at my house.
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup jam or preserves (your choice of flavor)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper a or silicone baking mat.
- With an electric or stand mixer cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well.
- Add flour a little at a time until fully incorporated. The mixture may be a little crumbly at first but it will come together as it's mixed. Use your hands if necessary. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll dough into 1" balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, 1/2” deep. Fill with a small spoonful of jam. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.