Tender and delicious thumbprint butter cookies are perfect for the holidays or anytime of the year! They are made with a buttery shortbread cookie base and then filled with your choice of jam or a Hershey’s Kiss.
Thumbprint butter cookies are a classic cookie favorite for a reason! They are tender, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth good just like these other favorites including snowball cookies, classic shortbread or butter cookies.
The cookie dough is easy to make with only 4 ingredients and comes together in only 10 minutes. After rolling them into balls, they are chilled slightly for the best buttery taste. Then just bake and fill with your choice of jam or my favorite is to use a Hershey’s kiss.
These homemade cookies are scrumptious and sure to brighten anyone’s day!
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Buttery: With soft luscious texture that everyone loves!
- Delicious center: Choose either a fruity sweet center or a chocolate kiss, either way, it is delicious!
- Simple: With only 4 simple ingredients, this shortbread cookie is a favorite to make!
- Holiday favorite: Or serve year round at parties or family gatherings.
- Perfect for gifting: Spread a little joy by gifting these delicious cookies.
One of the things I love best about this thumbprint butter cookie recipe is that you can change up the filling depending on the season or flavors you like!
- Butter: Let it sit out at room temperature for 30-45 minutes to soften before making these thumbprint butter cookies.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar gives the cookies their crisp edges.
- Egg yolk: Using just the egg yolk keeps these cookies tender and moist.
- All purpose flour: Gives the cookies structure, I have not tested this recipe with any other flour.
- Filling options: Raspberry and apricot jam are popular choices, but feel free to use whatever fruit preserves you like. I love to use Hershey’s kisses!
How to Make Thumbprint Butter Cookies
These thumbprint butter cookies are so simple to make! You will need to plan accordingly for them to chill after rolling.
Cream butter and sugar: In a medium sized mixing bowl use an electric mixer on medium speed to cream your butter, sugar and egg yolk until light and fluffy.
Thumbprint dough balls: Gradually mix in your flour until a soft dough forms.
Roll the dough into one-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet.
Use your finger or the round part of a ¼ teaspoon to make a well in the center of each cookie then chill the cookies for a short period of time.
Bake: Bake the cookies in the pre-heated oven on the prepared baking sheet until lightly browned on the bottom. Rest on the pan for 3-5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Fill: If you’re using chocolate kisses, place the chocolate in the middle of the warm cookie, if you’re using jam, fill the middle when the cookie has cooled.
- Softened butter: Your butter should be soft enough that you could either cut through it easily with a knife or when pressed with your finger it leaves a small indent. At room temperature your butter should take about 30 minutes to an hour to soften.
- Measure flour accurately: If your flour is packed into the measuring cup, you risk using too much and might end up with dense cookies. To ensure accuracy, spoon it into the measuring cup then level with a knife.
- Chill dough: Your dough may need to be chilled slightly before rolling if it is too soft. It’s crucial though that you don’t skip chilling the dough after rolling them into dough balls.
- Don’t make your thumbprint too deep: The center thumbprint should be deep but not too wide; if it’s too wide your cookie will spread too thin while baking.
- Fill with your favorite jam: The sky’s the limit for jam options although a high quality, real fruit preserve tastes best in my opinion! You could try a homemade lemon curd.
Why are they called thumbprint cookies?
The name comes from the small thumb-sized print in the middle of the cookie that holds the filling. You can use either your thumb to make this indent or use a measuring spoon to make it.
What is the difference between a butter cookie and shortbread cookie?
The main difference between the two is the sugar to butter ratio. Butter cookies contain more sugar and shortbread cookies contain more fat (such as butter) that yields that melt in your mouth texture.
Why did my thumbprint cookies spread?
Be sure that your butter is softened and not melted and don’t skip the chilling step! Chilled dough keeps its shape during baking.
Can I make the dough in advance?
Yes! You can make the dough and keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to a month. Let the dough thaw in the refrigerator before proceeding with baking instructions.
How do I store baked thumbprint cookies?
Store baked thumbprint butter cookies in an airtight container for a few days. Store in the fridge for a few more days or in the freezer for a month.
Our Favorite Cookie Recipes
- Fudgy brownie cookies
- Soft lemon cookies
- Crunchy sugar cookies
- M&M cookie recipe
- Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
Thumbprint Butter Cookies
- ¼ cup +2 tablespoons butter – softened
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar
- 1 large Egg yolk room temperature
- ¾ cup +2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Extra: Your choice of jam or Hershey's Kisses
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl beat together on medium speed the butter, sugar and egg yolk until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes. Gradually mix in the flour until a soft dough forms.
- Roll the dough into one inch balls (if the dough is too soft chill for 20-30 minutes), place them on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Use your finger or the round part of a ¼ teaspoon to make a well in the centre of each cookie. Chill the cookies for about 15-20 minutes.
- Bake the cookies until the become golden brown on the bottom, about 10-12 minutes. Leave them on the cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you're using kisses, place the chocolate in the middle of the warm cookie, if you're using jam, fill the middle when the cookie has cooled. Enjoy!
Today is Taste Creations Week! Please check out these other delicious Cookie Recipes from my Food Blogger Friends.