Thumbprint Cookies on cooling rack

Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


Buttery cookies are coated in chopped nuts and filled with your choice of jam (I like to use cranberry sauce!) and drizzled with a simple glaze for added sweetness.



  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla (can substitute almond extract)
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped almonds or other nuts
  • 3 tbsp. jam or canned jellied cranberry sauce
  • 6 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. water


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon. Separate the egg and place the yolk in with the creamed butter and sugar. Place the egg white into a separate small bowl. Stir in the egg yolk until evenly incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture.

4. Add the vanilla to the mixture and stir to combine. 

5. Add the flour, salt, and cinnamon (if using) into the wet ingredients and stir to combine, using your hands to incorporate the final bit of flour if necessary. 

6. Roll the dough into 12 balls approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter, place on the baking tray.

7. Dip each ball into the reserved egg white and then into the chopped nuts. Roll the cookie ball around in the nuts until evenly coated and place back on the baking tray.

8. Press thumb at an upward angle into the center of each ball to make an indent. (If any of the cookie edges split when making the indents, press the split edges back together gently.)

9. Fill each indent with about 3/4 tsp. cranberry sauce or jam.

10. Bake in the preheated oven for 13 – 15 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown and the bottom of the cookies are a medium brown color. Let sit on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then move onto a cooling rack.

11. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and water. Add glaze to a small zip top bag. When the cookies are cool, snip a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle glaze over top of the cookies.

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