thumbprint cookies – buttery and tender

thumbprint cookies - buttery and tender l

Ever since I was a little girl, the sight of glistening fruit jelly tucked in a delicate golden cookie morsel has conjured up all the pomp and circumstance of the Mad Hatter’s tea party with Alice in Wonderland. I’m not sure whether these lovely little dainties were on the menu, but had I been the author they would have been for sure!

thumbprint cookies - buttery and tender l

The trick to thumbprint cookies is to use a light hand. Resist the urge to over mix the flour with the butter/sugar mixture. You’ll need a stand mixer. I tried mixing them with a hand mixer but wasn’t able to get the flour worked into the butter properly. The mixture should look like a solid, smooth mass not a bowl full of beads. You’ll know what I mean, if you make them. I switched everything to my stand mixer and was back in business in seconds.  Also, every oven bakes differently, so do a tester. I place my bottom oven rack on the second to last rung to avoid over browning the bottom of the cookies. Bake one cookie, checking it, at the 14 minute mark. Test the cookie by carefully lifting it up to see if the bottom is evenly golden. If it is, let the cookie cool for 10 minutes then break it in half. It should be cooked all of the way through. Once you see how baked the cookie is at the 14 minute mark, you can use your own judgement to determine the remaining cookies bake time.

thumbprint cookies - buttery and tender l

Preheat oven to 325*F.

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup icing sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup fruit jelly


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light, 2 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and salt, scraping down bowl as needed.
  • Reduce the speed to low and mix in flour, until the flour is completely kneaded into the butter..
  • Take tablespoonfuls of cookie dough and roll into 1-inch balls.
  • Place dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Press down the center of each ball with the handle end of a wooden spoon making a slight depression.
  • Fill cookie centers with a teaspoonful of jelly. Don’t over fill.

thumbprint cookies - buttery and tender l

  • Bake 15 – 17 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffed.
  • Let cool a few minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Cool cookies completely then dust with icing sugar.
  • Keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for 2 – 3 days.

THE LOVE: Don’t over mix the batter or over bake the cookies. They’re tender for a reason!

Thanks for reading.