Our Absolute Best Thumbprint Cookie Recipes (2024)

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Our Absolute Best Thumbprint Cookie Recipes (1)Caroline StankoUpdated: Feb. 06, 2024

    From old-fashioned favorites to new-found flavors, we have the best thumbprint cookie recipes to fill your cookie tins.

    Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

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    These festive sugar-coated red velvet cookies are perfect for Christmas. They’re just as delicious as they are beautiful. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

    Raspberry Pistachio Thumbprints

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    Thumbprint cookies are a Christmas classic, and I especially like my updated version with pistachios. The rich, buttery bites are not only delicious, but they are also pretty enough to give for gifts—if you manage to share them! —Laura Murphy, Columbus, Mississippi

    Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

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    Taste of Home

    The topping on my sister-in-law's peach cobbler was so delicious that I asked for the recipe; then I decided to use that to top a cookie I developed with the flavors of baklava. My adult son tried one and immediately ate two more—which is unusual for him! It's a good recipe to mix up the night before and bake fresh the next day for company. —Sharon Eshelman, Harrington, Delaware

    Jeweled Coconut Drops

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    Red raspberry preserves add a festive flair to these tender coconut cookies. Perfect for potlucks and cookie exchanges, these shaped cookies never last long when I make them for my husband and two sons. -Ellen Marie Byler, Munfordville, Kentucky

    Carrot Spice Thumbprint Cookies

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    Taste of Home

    Carrot cake is a family favorite, and these delicious cookies with shredded carrots, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, cinnamon and cloves taste very similar. They’re even topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. With each cookie it feels as if you’re eating a piece of carrot cake, but no fork is needed! —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

    Berry Shortbread Dreams

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    Raspberry jam adds fruity sweetness to these rich raspberry-filled shortbread cookies. They will absolutely melt in your mouth! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas

    Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

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    This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships in 2013. It's similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida

    White Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

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    When I pass around the cookie tray, all eyes land on these fancy thumbprints. The white chocolate filling and dab of jewel-toned jam will satisfy even the most discriminating sweet tooth. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario

    Thumbprint Butter Cookies

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    These buttery little rounds add beautiful color to a platter of treats. Fill the thumbprint in the center with any fruit preserves you like. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

    Pistachio Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    These mild pistachio-flavored cookies disappear in a wink. —Liz Probelski, Port Washington, Wisconsin.

    Sweetheart Cookies

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    These rounds filled with fruit preserves were blue-ribbon winners at the county fair two years running. A family favorite, they never last beyond December 25! —Pamela Esposito, Smithville, New Jersey

    Sacher Torte Cookies

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    This cookie recipe will be a hit whether you are making it for your family or for a potluck. Apricot is traditional but you can choose whichever fruit preserves you prefer.—Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona

    Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    Red velvet cookies and cakes are so pretty, but I always wish they had a bigger flavor. I infused these thumbprints with a peppermint pop. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

    No-Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    Years ago, a friend gave me a recipe for chocolate peanut treats that didn't require baking. I thought it was a quick and clever way to whip up a batch of sweet snacks without heating up the kitchen, and I started making different variations. This one includes luscious Nutella and crunchy hazelnuts. Yum! —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida

    Poppy Seed Thumbprints

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    My oldest son is a huge fan of these thumbprints, so I make sure they're on my baking list every Christmas. Lemon zest and poppy seeds help give this crisp cookie fantastic flavor. —Kelly Pember, Wheeler, Wisconsin

    Pecan Pie Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    A good buttery dough and nutty filling take time to make, but the results are so worth it. After munching on a few, I think you'll agree.— Peggy Key, Grant, Alabama

    Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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    When I was four, Mom and I would don our aprons and I would pretend we were bakers named Marge and Betty. Though we dropped that routine, we still make Christmas cookies together every year. —Rebecca Little, Park Ridge, Illinois

    Chocolate-Covered Cherry Thumbprints

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    When I dig out my best cookie recipes, I'm reminded of baking with my children when they were little. These thumbprints with cherries elicit such sweet memories. –Deborah Puette, Lilburn, Georgia

    Flourless Peanut Butter Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    I had been searching for a dessert to make for my brother's girlfriend (who is gluten intolerant), and I came across a naturally gluten-free dessert—a flourless peanut butter cookie. After tweaking the recipe a bit and adding Nutella and a sprinkling of sea salt, I finally found the perfect cookie for her. —Dana Hinck, Pensacola, Florida

    Jeweled Thumbprints

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    When I moved here from Malta more than 20 years ago, a kind neighbor lady took me under her wing and baked many cookies for me. This is one of her recipes that I treasure. —Maria Debono, New York, New York

    Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

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    My group of friends had a weekly "movie night" during winters on Martha's Vineyard, and we'd take turns making a chocolate treat to share. These terrific chocolate thumbprint cookies were an instant success. Once they debuted, I had to make them many more times. —Laura Bryant German, W. Warren, Massachusetts

    Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

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    I enjoy experimenting with cake mixes to make new cookie recipes. I love apricot, but feel free to fill the thumbprint in the center of these goodies with any fruit preserve you like. —Nancy Johnson, Laverne, Oklahoma

    Eggnog Thumbprints

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    These cute cookie bites always get a recipe request. They make special holiday gifts and freeze well, too.— Mary Ann Ludwig, Edwardsville, Illinois

    Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    Covered in chopped nuts and drizzled with chocolate, these cookies are delicious and pretty. Everybody looks forward to munching on them during the holidays. —Elizabeth Marino, San Juan Capistrano, California

    Festive Thumbprints

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    Taste of Home

    I never cared for jam-filled thumbprints, so I decided to fill them with frosting instead. This makes them easy to ship, which you can’t do with the sticky jam filling. I sent these to my daughter while she was serving in Iraq, and they made the long haul in perfect condition. —Wendy Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota

    Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

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    I enjoy experimenting with cake mixes to make new cookie recipes. I love apricot, but feel free to fill the thumbprint in the center of these goodies with any fruit preserve you like. —Nancy Johnson, Laverne, Oklahoma

    Originally Published: October 19, 2021

    Our Absolute Best Thumbprint Cookie Recipes (27)

    Caroline Stanko

    Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish.When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer co*cktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.

    Our Absolute Best Thumbprint Cookie Recipes (2024)


    Should you fill thumbprint cookies before or after baking? ›

    Thumbprint cookies should be filled before baking. This gives the jam time in the oven to firm up and set a little.

    How do I keep my thumbprint cookies from cracking? ›

    The best way to keep thumbprint cookies from cracking and to keep them soft is to use cornstarch. In this recipe, I use just the right amount of cornstarch so you have a buttery shortbread cookie that doesn't crack.

    Why do my thumbprint cookies go flat? ›

    The Problem: Your Oven Is Too Hot

    If your cookies repeatedly turn out flat, no matter the recipe, chances are your oven is too hot. Here's what's happening. The butter melts super quickly in a too-hot oven before the other ingredients have firmed up into a cookie structure.

    How do you keep thumbprint cookies from spreading? ›

    Storing your dough in the fridge helps to harden the fat and prevent your cookies from spreading. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Should you refrigerate thumbprint cookies? ›

    Store your baked thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. There's no need to refrigerate. These cookies will keep for at least a week before starting to dry out and get crumbly.

    Why did my thumbprint cookies not rise? ›


    If you bake cookies using too much heat, the fats in the dough begin to melt before the other ingredients can cook together and form your cookie's rise. Always bake cookies according to the temperature recommended by your cookie recipe.

    What is the shelf life of thumbprint cookies? ›

    When does Thumbprint Cookies expire? Thumbprint cookies, whether homemade or store-bought, generally maintain their best quality for up to 1 to 2 weeks at normal room temperature. If you store your cookies in the fridge, you can extend their life to about 3 weeks.

    Do thumbprint cookies mail well? ›

    Do Thumbprint Cookies ship well? Yes. Firm and sturdy cookies are the best type of cookies to ship, so our Thumbprint Cookies handle the trip well.

    Can I freeze dough for thumbprint cookies? ›

    Absolutely! Thumbprint cookies will either have their indentions made before or after baking. If that occurs before baking, you can do that before they're frozen so that they're ready to go when you're ready to bake them.

    Should I use baking soda or baking powder in cookies? ›

    Baking soda is typically used for chewy cookies, while baking powder is generally used for light and airy cookies. Since baking powder is comprised of a number of ingredients (baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, etc.), using it instead of pure baking soda will affect the taste of your cookies.

    Why did my thumbprint cookies spread? ›

    Why did my thumbprint cookies spread? Your cookies may have spread because of the temperature of the butter. Fat makes baked goods spread. Try putting your dough in the refrigerator for an hour before baking/rolling to avoid cookies spreading.

    What temperature do you cook cookies? ›

    Bake at 375 degrees F until golden and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. For crispy-cakey cookies: Bake the cookies at 425 degrees F until golden and crunchy on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. For chewy cookies: Use 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup and omit the granulated sugar.

    How do you make cookies flat instead of fluffy? ›

    Cookies are always more puffy when just baked. If you want a thinner cookie, leave a tablespoon or two of flour out. If you want thicker cookies add a tablespoon or so of extra flour.

    How long can thumbprint cookie dough be refrigerated? ›

    Most cookie dough can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for 3-5 days before baking. If you want to make it farther in advance, freeze the dough. You can either freeze the entire brick of dough or divide it into portions for quick baking.

    How do you transport thumbprint cookies? ›

    Can you ship Jam Thumbprint Cookies? Yes, these ship quite well! For optimal freshness, wrap the cookies tightly in plastic wrap. You don't have to do them individually, but try to stack them in groups of 3-4 so there's not much air around them.

    Should you squish cookies before baking? ›

    So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly. Still, if you care deeply (or even casually) about the look of your cookies, you can take the flattening step as an opportunity for enhancement.

    Does the order of ingredients matter when baking cookies? ›

    Incorporating ingredients into the dough in the wrong order can entirely throw off your cookies. It's not just enough to mix the dough for the correct amount of time — the order that you incorporate ingredients into the dough matters.

    Do you smash cookies before baking? ›

    If the dough is chilled before baking then the cookies will be slightly more rounded, so if you want slightly flatter cookies then bake them as soon as you have mixed up the dough. But we would not recommend flattening the cookies completely as this will affect the texture.

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