Skip to Content

Thumbprint Jam Cookies – A Classic Christmas Cookie Recipe

No Christmas cookie tray would be complete without Thumbprint Jam Cookies.

Every year when we visit family, friends, and neighbors, you can be sure that on their buffet of desserts will be a tray filled with a variety of Christmas Cookies.

From classic Christmas Cutout Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms and more, you can be sure that will be stacked on the tray.

But more often than not, there will also be the classic, jam filled Thumbprint cookies as well.

thumbprint jam cookies
Thumbprint cookies filled with raspberry jam.

I always like the look of the the little cookies. The butter cookies looked so festive with jam sitting in a well in the center of the cookie.

However, I was always afraid that it would take too long, or be too difficult to make them.

Oh how wrong I was! They are actually very easy to make and require only a few basic ingredients

Thumbprint Jam Cookies


  • Butter, softened to room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt


These cookies are actually very simple to make!

Just like most cookie recipes, you must first start off with creaming together the butter and sugar. And in order to do that, you must first start with room temperature butter.

Otherwise, there will be clumps of hard butter throughout your cookie batter that will cause them to not set up properly when baked.

After the butter and sugar have been mixed and the mixture is light and fluffy. it is time to add the eggs. However, because this recipe is made more like a butter cookie, you won’t use the entire egg.

thumbprint jam cookies
Unlike most cookie recipes, thumbprint jam cookies are made using only the egg yolks.

You will only need the egg yolks for this recipe. Therefore, crack your egg and discard the egg whites, or use them for another recipe.

Now add the yolks, one at a time to the butter mixture. Then mix until the eggs are just incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture.

Next add in the vanilla and mix until you can no longer see the vanilla liquid. Then in a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

Now slowly add your dry ingredients to the mixture to finish making the cookie dough.

Refrigerate The Dough

Once the dough is mixed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Keeping the dough chilled helps you roll and form the Thumbprint Jam Cookies later.

Although, if you are in an absolute hurry, you can skip this step. However, the cookies may be harder to form if you do it right away.

Now line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

*I had always been hesitant to purchase these Silicone Baking Mats. However, after using them for over a year now, I wish I would have purchased them sooner. Not only are they non-stick and make clean up a breeze, I have saved a lot of money not having to purchase parchment paper over and over again.

When you are ready to make your cookies, use a medium cookie scoop and portion out the dough into individual sections. Then roll the dough in the palm of your hands until it is formed in a ball shape.

thumbprint jam cookies
Delicious Thumbprint Cookies, filled with raspberry jam.

Then place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Then use a 1/2 teaspoon, round measuring spoon to press down the center of each ball to form an indention. This is where the jam will eventually sit.

Bake The Cookies and Add The Jam

Once the cookies are ready, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies may look underdone, but you don’t want them to turn golden brown. Instead, they should look formed but still resemble the color of a butter cookie.

Now comes the fun part! It is time to add a little bit of jam to the center of each cookie. You may need to use the measuring spoon to push down the center of the cookie if it has puffed up too much.

Then use a small spoon to fill the center of each cookie with the jam so that it is level with the top of the cookie rim.

Now place the baking sheet back into the oven and continue t bake the Thumbprint Jam Cookies for an additional 3-4 minutes. The cookies are done when the jam melts slightly against the indention of the cookies.

thumbprint cookies cooling
After you let the cookies rest on the baking sheet, transfer to a wire cooking rack until completely cooled.

Once the cookies are finished baking, take them out of the oven. Then let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

Once they have completely cooled, store them in an air-tight container or freeze for later use! If you will be stacking the cookies in the container, It is best to place wax paper between the layers. This will help prevent the jam from sticking to the the bottom of the cookies that are placed on top

Enjoy! Mary

Other Favorite Christmas Tray Treats

When you think about making Christmas Cookie Trays, do you think about other items to add besides cookies? I love to add a variety of items to my edible gift arrangements.

Here are a few of my favorite cookies and treats that are a huge hit during the holiday season:

recipes for two banner ad

To receive our 3 Recipe Articles in your inbox each week, sign up for our free email list located in the middle of each recipe or email me at You can also follow us on Facebook and Pinterest. This article may contain affiliate links where a small commission is paid if you purchase a product at no additional cost to you.

Yield: 3 dozen

Thumbprint Jam Cookies

Thumbprint Jam Cookies

A classic Christmas Cookie recipe - butter cookies with an indented center and filled with jam.


  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes).
  3. Add in egg yolks, one at a time and add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  4. In another medium bowl add flour and salt and whisk until incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture until the dough comes together in a ball. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Form dough into 1-inch round balls. Place each ball on the prepared cookie sheet and make a deep circular indentation in the center of each dough ball with a ½ inch teaspoon circular measuring spoon or something similar.
  6. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Remove cookie sheet from the oven. If indentations look too shallow, press the center of them down again, and fill each with jam.
  8. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until jam melts slightly into the edges of the indention and edges of cookies are lightly golden.
  9. Remove from oven and let the cookies sit on the cookie tray for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Store in a single layer in a cool, dry place or freeze for later use.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Skip to Recipe