Thumb Print Cookies

One holiday baked good I remember my mom making often was the thumb print cookie. She would vary in the jam flavors from year to year, but the dough and technique was always the same. Whenever I make thumb print cookies, I always think of the first time my mom taught me how to make them. I was not an easy child to convince to learn the art of cooking and baking. I just wanted to eat the food, I didn’t want to put forth the work. Little did I know how much I would later enjoy the culinary arts.

This year I knew I needed to recreate the thumb print cookies from my childhood. When I was thinking of the flavor of jam I wanted to use this year I really utilized the deductive reasoning skills I have obtained over the years…I went into my walk-in pantry and counted the amount I had of each flavor, and used the one I had the most of, which happened to be red plum jam.

This jam can be difficult to find. The only place I have been able to find it where I currently live is at the grocery store on the Air Force Base, the Commissary. My amazing husband knows how much I like this jam, so whenever he is able to, he swings by and buys me a couple of jars of this red plum jam. Apparently, I don’t eat it fast enough for how often he purchases some. So my red plum jam count was exponentially higher than any other flavor I currently have. Other jam flavors that are equally tasty in these cookies are seedless raspberry, apricot, orange, peach, and seedless blackberry.

Thumb Print Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 118 kcal


  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • cookie scoop


  • ¾ cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup jam any flavor, but it has to be smooth, no chunks or seeds
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • In an electric mixer bowl, add the butter and beat on high for 8 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl every couple of minutes. Add in the granulated sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, and egg yolk. Beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Whisk together until evenly combined.
  • Add to the butter mixture and beat on low until the flour mixture is combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure the dough is completely mixed together.
  • On a lined baking sheet, scoop the dough by the tablespoonfuls and roll in hands to smooth out.
  • Using your thumb, or I use a round teaspoon, and press a divvet into the center of each dough ball. Take the chosen jam and spoon a little amount into each divvet you just made in the dough.
  • Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the baking sheet and let cool completely.
  • In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, water, and the rest of the almond extract. Stir until smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cookies. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Serving: 2cookiesCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 47mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 125IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cookies, fruit
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The dough for my thumb print cookies is more of a shortbread type cookie. It does spread a little bit baking, but that does not cause the jam in the center to leak out. What is your favorite jam flavor for thumb print cookies? Have you had these tasty treats before?

Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones. Happiest of holidays!

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