Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thumbprint Cookies

My son loves anything jam-centred. He has them as a meal apart snacking them. Surprisingly he wanted cookies instead of cakes this Christmas and I found myself searching for a simple cookie recipe of his kind.

"Thumbprint Cookies are a very popular holiday cookie. They are made with a shortbread-like dough that is formed into balls and then rolled in either finely chopped nuts or dried coconut. The name 'thumbprint' comes from the fact you use your "thumb" to make an indentation into each ball of dough and then fill it with jam."
Perfect! The cookies were fresh out of the oven when he was back from school and he loved them, absolutely!

They tasted more or like shortbread, complimented with the crunchiness of freshly toasted nuts and the fruity flavour with mild tartness of the jam in the centre.

Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 20 cookies.
Source- Joy of Baking


1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg, separated

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (80 grams) hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped ( I used cashews and almonds)

1/4 - 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) fruit jam of your choice


You have a clear elaborate video for the recipe by Stephanie over there in the site.
They are easy to make and I am providing you a step-wise.

 To toast the nuts, spread them on a baking sheet or your pan or tray line with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes (almonds, pecans and walnuts). The nuts are done when they are light golden-brown in color and fragrant. Toast the hazelnuts for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and the outer skins begin to flake. Remove from oven and place the hot nuts in a dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts sit (steam) for a few minutes then rub the nuts in the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool completely.

(As mentioned earlier I used a combination of almonds and cashews)

Once the nuts have cooled, place them in your food processor and process until finely chopped. Alternatively, you could chop them by hand.

 In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the finely chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls.Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in the nuts.

  Place on the prepared baking sheet. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make a indentation into the center of each cookie

and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. DO not over fill as we do not want the jam to bubble and overflow while baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. See to it, they are baking spaced about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.

Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Since I love coconutty flavour in cookies, I baked a batch of thumbprint cookies rolled in dessicated coconut too.

These cookies can be stored for about a week.

If you are planning to store these cookies for more than a couple of days, bake them without the jam. Just reduce the baking time by a few minutes.
Fill the cookies will jam the same day as serving.


  1. wow these look so cute :) perfectly done

  2. Loving ur version... Looks so crunchy and yummy...

  3. Bharathy, what a pleasant coincidence! My 3 yr old and I made these cookies last weekend as gifts for her Pre-School friends and I got my recipe from Joy of Baking website too. I just replaced nuts with corn flakes since my 3 yr old is allergic to nuts. She had loads of fun making the thumb impression. Your clicks look awesome! After my daughter was done, with helping me, my kitchen looked like a raccoon, made of flour, had ran all over the kitchen!

    1. :D Nice to hear about that! raccoon made of flour running all over the kitchen. LOLOL .... lolol....

      I did think about your daughter ..her intolerence to nuts when I was rolling them over the crumbles...

    2. :)) Cleaning the kitchen was totally worth it considering how much the little one enjoyed making the cookies. She was all proud to give them away to her friends too. Thanks for thinking of us; it is very kind of you. I am sorry that she cannot eat nuts, especially, since my favorite food-item is almonds! But, the corn flakes did the trick and I rolled them over icing sugar to give it a "frosted" winter look. BTW, thanks for the fish curry recipe, Anjalie loves it and asks for fish every week now. I am totally pleased with it :) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family, Bharathy, and I will keep trying out your recipes.

    3. Readers like you propel me :) Merry Christmas and a Great year ahead! :)

  4. how cute cookies....clear explanation..
    BTW if gets sum time plzz check out my new FB page dear.Thanks in advance..

  5. Such a nicely written post!!! So delicious and mouth watering and the recipe steps are so clear and simple... Thanks for sharing... Bookmarking this!!!
    Ongoing Event - Eggless Bakes and Treats
    Ongoing Event - SYF&HWS - Ginger

  6. Wow.. Jam filled biscuits are my childhood favorites :) Loving it. They look just too perfect :)

  7. They look so cute, I love jam cookies too and love baking them!

  8. cookie jar never gets empty. I like these cute cookies and the coconut thumbprint ones are worth a try!

    1. Something made me think about you when I was preparing the coconut covering :) After chillies it's coconut without which I cannot live!

  9. Wow these look delicious.
    Love teh delicious colour.

  10. Jam filled cookies are always my fav...looks yum


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