Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies are buttery cookies filled with jam and rolled in finely chopped almonds. A classic Christmas cookie perfect for parties, cookie platters, or Holiday cookie exchanges. While this recipe may differ slightly from what you’re used to, it’s been a staple in my Christmas baking for years!

Thumbprint cookies on a red and white platter

These thumbprint cookies have been on my Christmas cookie platters for years. I love how simple they are to make, how the jam absolutely stays where I want it to be — on the cookie instead of the baking sheet, and the crunchy almond exterior.

A sweet treat everyone in my family loves.

Side view of red and white platter filled with Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Tips for Making Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Simple tips for making the best Christmas Thumbprint Cookies:

Do you fill the thumbprint cookies before or after baking?

After! Remove the cookies from the oven and with a spoon, gently press into the indentation if needed. While the cookies are still warm, fill them with your favorite jam or preserves. As they cool, the jam stays exactly where you want it to be and sits like jewels on top of the cookies.

Should thumbprint cookies be refrigerated?

These cookies do not need to be refrigerated. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.

Can you freeze thumbprint cookies?

Absolutely! They freeze well for up to 3 months.

Do these thumbprint cookies spread?

These cookies should not spread and the dough doesn’t require chilling before baking.

Top view of Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
If you love to make dried fruit for the holidays, see our post on Christmas Dried Orange Slices

Ingredients for Thumbprint Cookies

Gather these ingredients to make these simple thumbprint cookies. Specific ingredient measurements are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Almonds
  • Jam/Preserves

Ingredient Notes

Jam: The filling options for these cookies are endless. I like the traditional jam filling and have used seedless raspberry jam and marmalade. Use your favorite filling.

Almonds: Be sure to finely chop the almonds. I used a food processor.

How to Make Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and continue to beat until incorporated.

Add the flour, salt, and 1/2 finely chopped almonds; mix until a dough forms.

Unbaked Thumbprint Cookie dough balls with indentations for jam

Scoop mounds of dough and then roll into a ball. Dredge the dough ball in finely chopped almonds before placing them on the prepared baking sheet.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or your thumb) press into the center of each cookie to form an indentation.

Step 3: Bake the Cookies

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Adjust baking time according to how large the cookies are.

Filling warm just baked thumbprint cookies with jam

Step 4: Fill Thumbprints with Preserves

Once baked, remove from the oven, and while still warm, spoon preserves into the thumbprints or indentations in the cookies.

How to Store Thumbprint Cookies

  • Dough: The cookie dough can be chilled for up to 5 days or can also be frozen.
  • Baked Cookies: The cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for 2 weeks. They can also be frozen.
Closeup view of Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprint cookies on a red and white platter

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies are buttery cookies filled with jam and rolled in finely chopped almonds. A classic Christmas cookie perfect for parties, cookie platters, or Holiday cookie exchanges.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • Seedless raspberry jam (or your favorite)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and continue to beat until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds; mix until a dough forms.
  4. Scoop mounds of dough and then roll into a ball. I like to use a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop but 2 spoons work fine too. Dredge the dough ball in the remaining 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds before placing them on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  5. Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or your thumb) press into the center of each cookie to form an indentation.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to brown. Adjust baking time according to how large the cookies are.
  7. Once baked, remove from the oven, and press the back of a spoon into the indentations if needed. While still warm, spoon preserves into the thumbprints or indentations in the cookies. Let cool.

Notes

Storage:

  • Dough: The cookie dough can be made in advance and chilled for up to 5 days or can also be frozen.
  • Baked Cookies: The cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks. They can also be frozen.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 35mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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