Jam Thumbprint Cookies are an easy, versatile, and classic Christmas Cookie recipe everyone loves to make and eat! 

This recipe costs about $5.23 to make. It makes forty cookies for approximately $0.13 per cookie.

Check out my Gummy Bear Thumbprint Cookies for another fun thumbprint cookie recipe.

The finished Jam Thumbprint Cookies on a wire rack.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are simple and fun to make. Plus, you can make the dough up to three days in advance.

My kids love helping me make these cookies. They especially like flouring their thumbs and sticking them into the cookie dough.

These cookies are soft and chewy with a sweet jam filling in the center. They are fun to make and a festive cookie to add to your Christmas tray. The round cookie holds its shape well while cooking to keep the perfect center opening for a dollop of jam to be added in.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.13

Recipe Cost: $5.23

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour – $0.20
  • ¼ teaspoon salt – $0.01
  • 1 cup butter – $2.24
  • ½ cup granulated sugar – $0.12
  • 2 large egg yolks – $0.38
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – $0.68
  • ½ cup seedless jam of your choice – $1.60

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in November 2022.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Make Thumbprint Jam Cookies

  1. Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  
  2. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.  
  3. Add salt and flour and mix until combined. 
  4. Cover and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.  
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  6. Divide dough with a cookie dough scoop and roll into one-inch balls. 
  7. Place dough balls on parchment-lined or silicone-lined cookie sheets. 
  8. Gently press the center of each cookie dough ball with your thumb or the back of the cookie dough scoop. 
  9. Spoon ½ teaspoon of jam into each cookie.  
  10. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly firm and lightly golden brown. 
  11. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. 

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Recipe Variations

Every once in a while, I like to change the flavor of these cookies with these variations. Just add the following ingredients to the mix.

  1. 1 teaspoon orange zest and use orange marmalade for the filling.
  2. 1 teaspoon orange zest and use passionfruit jam for the filling.
  3. 1 teaspoon lime zest and use strawberry jam for the filling.  
  4. 1 teaspoon lime zest and use blueberry jam for the filling.  
  5. 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest and use cherry jam for the filling.
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon zest and use almond paste for the filling.
  7. 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and use strawberry jam mixed with 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds for the filling.

Storage Tips

SERVE: Serve the cookies once they’ve completely cooled.

STORE: Store the finished cookies in an airtight container in a single layer between pieces of parchment or wax paper.

FREEZE: Once the jam thumbprint cookies have cooled, place them in a freezer-safe container in a single layer between pieces of parchment or wax paper. Freeze for 1-2 months.

THAW: Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.

An overhead picture of the finished Thumbprint Cookies With Jam on a wire cooling rack.

Cook’s Note

  • Sometimes I dress these cookies up a bit by dusting them off sifted powdered sugar right before serving. 
  • You can dress these cookies up by adding a drizzle of melted white chocolate.

Recipe FAQs

What is another name for thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint Cookies have also been called Bird’s Nest Cookies, Butterballs, or Polish Tea Cakes. Whatever you call them, I call them delicious!

Why do my thumbprint cookies crack?

If this happens, try rolling the dough balls smooth before lightly pressing them in the center with your thumb. If the dough cracks before baking, roll the dough ball and form them again to smooth over the cracks. Also, double-check your measurements before mixing them to form the dough. Incorrect measurements can affect the texture of the dough.

How do I stop my thumbprint cookies from spreading?

The best tip to help prevent the dough from spreading while baking is not to overmix the dough. Overmixing can lead to air pockets in the dough, which is one cause of spreading during the baking process.

Six of the finished Thumbprint Jam Cookies on a serving plate with a glass of milk in the background.

More Cookies

                                 

A close up picture of the finished Jam Thumbprint Cookie recipe.
4.94 from 16 votes

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe Cost $ $5.23
Serving Cost $ $0.13
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 4 minutes
40 cookies
Jam Thumbprint Cookies are an easy, versatile, and classic Christmas Cookie recipe everyone loves to make and eat! 

Equipment

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • mixing bowl
  • handheld mixer
  • Cookie scoop
  • cookie sheets
  • parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  • wire racks

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions

MAKE AND CHILL COOKIE DOUGH:

  • Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • Add salt and flour and mix until combined.
  • Cover and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.*** see notes

PREP OVEN AND COOKIE SHEETS:

  • Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

SHAPE AND FILL COOKIES:

  • Divide dough with a cookie dough scoop and roll into one-inch balls.
  • Place dough balls on prepared cookie sheets.
  • Gently press the center of each cookie dough ball with your thumb or the back of the cookie dough scoop.
  • Spoon ½ teaspoon of jam into each cookie.

BAKE AND COOL:

  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking or until slightly firm and lightly golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on wire racks for about 2 hours.

Notes

  • The dough can be chilled for longer than 30 minutes. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • If you’re chilling the dough longer than 30 minutes, allow it to come up to room temperature and work the dough in your hands to make it easier to roll into balls.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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15 Comments

  1. Thumbprint cookies are always a favorite in my house too around this time of the year. And these look sooo goood! And I love your ideas for flavor variations – passion fruit jam.. yum! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. The classic cookie recipe is screaming my name. Love them!

  3. Using lemon sounds divine. I’ve always used just jam and the tartness of the lemon would be great., tysm!

  4. I LOVE these cookies! I remember making them with my mum when I was a kid, I completely forgot about them! These look great 🙂

  5. I love making thumbprint cookies during the holiday season! Raspberry and lemon is a fantastic combination. These look perfect.

  6. These are a MUST for any Christmas cookie swap. Going to get the ingredients this week and make them over the weekend.

  7. These look so cute for the holidays! I’m in cookie baking mode, so I’ll have to add these to the list. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lisa Bynum says:

    I like the sound of dressing them up with melted chocolate. These would be perfect as a Valentine’s cookie too!

  9. YUM! These cookies are the best!

  10. These are delicious and simple to make! I used blueberry preserves instead.

  11. MacKenzie says:

    I just added these to my Christmas list. Such a perfect cookie!

  12. I love these cookies. Such a gorgeous recipe. Thanks so much.

  13. Beautiful, colorful Christmas cookies! I wanted to try a new holiday dessert and this recipe did not disappoint. Yum!

  14. I love thumbprint cookies in general but especially around the holidays! These look so adorable, I’m definitely adding them to our Christmas party menu as a dessert to pass around!

  15. Simplicity at its best! Very nice, buttery and melt-in-the-mouth! And incredibly easy to make too! 🙂