Strawberry jam thumbprint cookies are delicious buttery shortbreads filled with jam. Ready in about hour, these festive cookies are holiday favorites. But you can serve them year round.
Who doesn’t love an easy cookie recipe? Thumbprints are a family favorite and not just because they’re delicious. We like that you can change the filling to adapt them to any occasion.
We’re sharing tips to help you get the best results with this recipe. If you don’t need the tips, scroll to the bottom for the full recipe, including a printable recipe card.
Thumbprint cookies are a great addition to your holiday lineup. They look pretty on dessert trays and are a standout at cookie exchanges. If you’re looking for more ideas, try a batch of our Christmas crack candy or cornflake wreaths – they are longtime holiday faves.
You can easily use this recipe to make a variety of flavors. Which comes in handy when you want to package them up in a decorative canister for an edible gift.
Not to mention, no fancy ingredients required! All you need are pantry staples, so you may have everything on hand.
- unsalted butter – allow time for the butter to soften to room temperature
- granulated sugar
- egg yolks -you want these to be room temperature
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- seedless strawberry jam
How to Make Strawberry Jam Cookies
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer.
Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Then add the salt and flour and mix until combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Pro tip: If you have room in your refrigerator for cookie trays, you can make the cookie balls, place them on your lined trays and make the indentations. Then place the trays in the frig to chill. Remove from frig and add the jam to the indentations before baking.
Divide the dough into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop.
Place each one on the baking sheet, and gently press down on the tops using your thumb or a tart shaper.
Spoon up to a teaspoon of strawberry jam into each cookie.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until they are a light golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.
Variations of Jam Cookies
We recommend using a high quality jam because the flavor tends to be more prominent. Also, these jams are usually thicker, so the cookie base doesn’t get soggy.
Strawberry is one of my favorite jam cookies to make, but you can use your favorite flavor. Just make sure it’s seedless because it will give you a smoother filling. Here are some of the most popular versions:
- Red raspberry
Before serving, you can dust jam cookies with powdered sugar or drizzle with a simple confectioner sugar and milk glaze.
You can also roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before placing on the baking sheet.
Another option is to fill the center will a simple icing. This is a fun riff that can be tailored to any occasion by changing up the icing color.
Tips for making thumbprint cookies
- If you choose to skip refrigerating the dough, the cookies will be flatter.
- The dough can chill longer than 30 minutes, and will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator before filling and baking. Allow the dough to come to room temperature so it’s easier to roll.
- Avoid pressing the cookie too far down – you don’t want to hit the bottom.
- If you don’t want to use your thumb, try the back of the cookie scoop or round measuring spoon or a tart shaper.
- Do not swap jelly for jam. We think the consistency is too thin for these cookies.
How to Store
Keep strawberry jam cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the counter. Just be sure they have cooled completely before transferring to the container.
To freeze, allow the cookies to set completely. You can leave them on the counter to cool for several hours, or transfer them to the fridge. Once cooled, add them in a single layer to a container or freezer bag. For multiple layers, separate with parchment paper. Freeze for up to 1 month.
You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make the cookies, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Then bring it to room temperature before rolling.
Strawberry Jam Cookies
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Add salt and flour and mix until well combined.
- Cover and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (**see notes).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Use a #40 cookie scoop to portion the dough and roll into a one-inch ball.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet and gently press your thumb into each cookie. Can also use a tart shaper or the back of the cookie dough scoop.
- Spoon ½-1 teaspoon jam into each cookie.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly firm and a light golden brown color.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- The cookies will be flatter if you don’t refrigerate the dough.
- The dough can be chilled longer than 30 minutes and up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If chilling longer than 30 minutes, allow the dough to come to room temperature and work the dough in your hands to make it easier to roll into balls.
- Don’t press too far down into the cookie – you don’t want to hit the bottom.
- We recommend using a high quality jam. Can use other jam flavors – red raspberry, apricot and blackberry are a few of our favorites.
- Do not use jelly – it’s too thin.
- Cooled cookies can be dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with a simple glaze.
- Store cooled cookies for up to 3 days in an airtight container on the counter. If stacking them, use a piece of parchment paper between the layers.
Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.