Classic Thumbprint Cookies

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These Thumbprint Cookies were always one of my favorite Christmas Cookie recipes. Buttery cookies rolled in nuts and filled with jam or jelly.

These are the perfect addition to any cookie tray alongside Sugar Cookies and of course Gingerbread Men!

Thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack

Jam-Filled Thumbprint Cookies

When I was little, thumbprints were my favorite cookies (I used to call them thimble cookies).  While I really liked Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies and Shortbread Cookies, I always went for the Thumbprint Cookies first.

My mom used to fill half of them with raspberry jam and the other half with mint jelly so they were red and green during the holidays.

You can use any kind of jam (I like seedless best) or even make these thumbprint cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss in the middle!

I’ve made these with both pecans and walnuts and both are great but walnuts is what I grew up with!

Thumbprint cookies

How To Make Thumbprint Cookies

Some recipes for thumbprint cookies call for all butter and some call for all shortening.  I definitely prefer a combination of both as it gives the best texture and flavor. I don’t suggest using margarine in this recipe.

Once you remove your cookies from the oven, you may need to press the indent again while they’re still soft.  I place the jam in a sandwich bag and snip off the corner to make filling them easy!

Like most cookie recipes, these cookies freeze well making them the perfect holiday cookie.  I place them in layers separated by parchment paper and seal them in a plastic container. They will defrost in about 20 minutes at room temperature.

Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

thumbprint cookies with jam in the middle
3.67 from 3 votes
Review Recipe

Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Buttery soft cookies rolled in nuts and filled with jam are the perfect addition to any cookie tray!


  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour all purpose
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • raspberry jam seedless

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  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla. (Set egg white aside in a small bowl.)
  • Combine flour and salt and add in a little at a time until incorporated. 
  • Divide dough into 20 pieces and roll into balls. Beat egg white in a small bowl. Dip each cookie dough ball in the egg whites and then into the nuts, pressing to adhere.
  • Place each ball of dough about 2″ apart and using the end of a spoon or your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie. Seal any cracks that form on the sides. Freeze 15-20 minutes.
  • Bake 16-18 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon to press the indents again if needed.
  • Fill indents with jam. Cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Pecans can be substituted for walnuts.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 118, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 24mg, Potassium: 39mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Keyword thimble cookes, thumbprint cookies
Thumbprint cookies on a cookie sheet with a title
Thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack with a title

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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