by Venancio Guerra

Jam Thumbprint Cookies are delicious little almond shortbread cookies showered in powdered sugar and filled with jewel toned jam that melt in your mouth.  What could be more tempting?  Bring these to the office party, or serve them after the holiday dinner, they’re always popular.

What makes these jam thumbprints special?

  • Firstly it’s the dough: it’s got a portion of almond flour which makes the cookies soft and delicate.  I find that some thumbprint cookies can be tough and uninteresting, but these cookies taste wonderful even without their filling.
  • Next, they’ve been coated with powdered sugar, which makes them extra sweet and extra festive.
  • Lastly, I’ve specifically chosen premium jams (even used my homemade mulled cranberry jelly) which gives the cookies a gourmet flavor.

More yummy recipes from tvfgi!

Recommended jam fillings for thumbprint cookies

  • Above all I recommend a thick, tart jam with lots of fruity flavor, not one that is overly sweet.
  • Right now I’m loving Bon Maman and Stonewall Kitchen.  Both have bright vivid flavors, and both have vibrant, inventive flavors.
  • Bon Maman has a new line of ‘Intense’ flavored jams which are fantastic and perfect for bringing a bright pop of flavor to these cookies.
  • I used peach preserves, black raspberry jam, tangerine marmalade, wild Maine blueberry jam, lemon curd, ‘intense’ cherry jam, fig jam, & my own mulled cranberry jelly.
  • Use any jam (or jelly) you love, homemade or store bought, but be sure it’s got relatively thick consistency so it doesn’t ooze all over your cookies.  I love to mix and match, and the jewel box effect is charming on a platter.

The jam filling in these cookies isn’t baked, and that means the flavor stays nice and bright.

These cookies aren’t for shipping, because the jam won’t have hardened, but they’re perfect for setting out on a dessert table, or serving at the end of a meal with coffee.  If you need something to bring to a holiday party, they’d be wonderful.  Just don’t plan on stacking them because of their soft centers.

Freezing thumbprint cookies

Freeze the cookies baked, or unbaked.  If freezing baked cookies, dust with sugar and fill after thawing.

Do you have your holiday cookie assortment all planned out yet?  If not, here are some of my favorites ~

  • Chocolate Dipped Churro Shortbread Cookies
  • New Fallen Snow Cookies
  • Chocolate Gingerbread Stamped Cookies
  • Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies are delicious almond shortbread cookies filled with jewel toned jam that melt in your mouth. This classic holiday cookie is fabulous!CourseDessertCuisineAmericanPrep Time25 minutesCook Time12 minutesYield4 dozen


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract (use vanilla if you prefer)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup extra fine almond flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  • assorted jams and jellies


  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter with both sugars and the extract until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  • Whisk together the flour, almond flour, and salt, and then add gradually to the bowl, with the mixer on low. Blend just until the dough comes together.
  • Scoop out the dough with a 1 1/8 inch cookie scoop, and roll into smooth balls. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Make a small indent into each ball using your little finger or a round 1/4 teaspoon. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until set but still pale. Just after you remove the cookies from the oven re-do the thumbprint indentations, because they will have puffed up during baking.
  • Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then toss the cookies in powdered sugar to coat on all sides.
  • When you are ready to serve, dust the cookies one more time with another coat of powdered sugar, and then fill each indentation with a small amount of jam.

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