- Cookie Sheet
- 1 cup unsalted butter (cold from the fridge, roughly cubed)
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1: Make dough: Add butter and flour to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until crumbled. Add the sugar and salt and pulse 3-4 times until combined. Tip crumbly mix on clean countertop and gently knead until dough forms (do not overwork or your cookies will be tough).
- 2: Shape cookies: Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and set 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball (you can use your finger, but I like using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon for a perfect look).
- 3: Chill cookies: Chill the shaped cookies for 15-30 minutes, or until firm and cold (the longer you chill, the better they hold their shape).
- 4: Fill and bake: Heat the oven to 350°F. Fill each cookie hole with raspberry jam, then bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes or until lightly golden and just set. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Ingredient Notes:Butter: Make sure to use butter that’s cold from the fridge and NOT softened or melted butter! Your recipe will not work out otherwise. Buttery spread or margarine cannot be substituted here. Flour: I always use all-purpose flour here. If you try this with a gluten free blend, please let me know how it works out for you! I love to make my recipes accessible to many people, and would love to include your experience here in the recipe. Sugar: Use granulated sugar for best results. Brown sugar shouldn’t be substituted here as it will alter the color of the cookie. Jam: I really prefer seedless for thumbprint cookies, and raspberry is by far my favorite. Feel free to experiment here! Lemon curd is very delicious, too. Note: Classic shortbread doesn’t have eggs or baking powder in it, in case you’re wondering if they are missing in the recipe.
Baking Tips:Shaping the perfect thumbprint cookies: After many years of thumbprint cookie experience, I want to share my best tips for the picture perfect cookies with you:
- Shape the cookies BEFORE chilling the dough – making the holes for the jam is almost impossible to do neatly once the dough is chilled.
- Make the indent/hole for the jam with a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. The cookies will look much more even and neat!
- Do not skip chilling the shaped cookies. They will spread too much in the oven if you don’t chill them.
- Fill them right to the edge with jam, or even slightly more, as the jam will reduce a little during baking.
- Bake just until they’re starting to get crisp and lightly browned around the bottom edges, otherwise they will turn out too dark and lose their pretty looks.
Freezer Instructions:To freeze the raw cookie dough: You can freeze the shaped cookie dough for up to 3 months. Freeze in a single layer on lined baking sheets for 1-2 hours or until solid, then place in freezer bags and label with the name and use-by date before freezing. To bake, remove as many cookies as you want from the freezer bag and set them on a lined baking sheet. Fill with jam, then let them sit on the counter while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time. I do not recommend freezing the baked cookies, as the jam tends to turn a little weird after freezing/thawing.
Try these Holiday Cookies Next:
Or check out my collection of easy cookie recipes for more ideas!