Christmas Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

Assemble a beautiful holiday cookie tray using this traditional but easy cookie with many variations.

60 min. prep time
60 cookies
11511 Ratings



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Suggested Coatings

2 1/2 cups finely chopped peanuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts

Suggested Toppings

Caramels, cut in half
Chocolate stars
Fruit preserves
Maraschino cherries


Heat oven to 350°F.

Separate eggs; place egg whites into bowl and egg yolks into bowl. Beat egg whites with fork until foamy; set aside.

Place all remaining cookie ingredients in bowl with egg yolks. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture forms a dough.

Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each into egg white; roll in nuts. Place 1 inch apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or back of teaspoon. Bake 8 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven; fill centers with choice of filling. Continue baking 6-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Nutrition Facts (1 cookie)

Calories: 90

Fat: 6g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Sodium: 65mg

Carbohydrates: 6g

Dietary Fiber: <1g

Protein: 2g

Recipe #4805©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

Made this cookie today for my Christmas cookie gift trays. I rolled some in pecans and some in coconut (did that mainly for my grandson who loves coconut). Used apricot and seedless raspberry preserves. My husband is my official taste tester since I'm gluten intolerant and can't taste them myself. He loved them. I guess that's a thumbs up!!!! Sue: I got 55 cookies, but some turned out smaller.
When I was 1st married I recieved the LoL cookbook as a wedding shower gift. I picked these out to try. Every single year since they are a HIT! We roll them in colored sugar though because the kids are not crazy for nuts. 16 years later (and an upgraded husband) these are always on our Christmas cookie list!
This is same recipe that is in my 1950 copy of The Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book except for oven temp and timing. A great cookie! I use a cocktail muddler to make the indentation.
I haven't made Thumbprint cookies since I was a teenager back in the 70's! That said, I have no idea what recipe I used then but, I have been actively searching for a recipe to use this year and this is a sure winner! Don't need to look any further. I baked up a few samples for the hubster and I and we agree, these are wonderful!

I didn't make any changes to the recipe and I tripled it as I am aiming to bake 1000 cookies this Holiday in memory of my late mother. The dough is easy to work with, no stickiness at all. I got 155 cookies out of tripling the recipe, preformed and frozen. Our personal favorite is raspberry jam. Some I didn't roll in anything, just topped with raspberry jam.
The other varieties I tried (all with the raspberry jam) was rolling the dough in unsweetened coconut and another rolled in crushed pecans. All three were fantastic!

I did try using orange marmalade but they were too sweet for our taste. Might have been the marmalade that I used but it just didn't have the wow factor that the raspberry had. This recipe is now a main staple for Holiday baking and it's already in my cookie folder for future baking.

I used the back of 1/2 teaspoon to form the well and when I took them out of the oven for filling, the wells had puffed back up so I had to indent them again. The 1/2 teaspoon was the perfect size for us, that way, not too much jam to cookie dough ratio. Temperature and baking time was just as indicated on the recipe.
We love these cookies! We try all types of combinations for the filling and what we roll it in (not everyone loves nuts) and it's always good.
Very good and tasty. Actually perfect and I will make these again for sure...BUT there is NO way this makes 5 dozen. It makes about 40-44 cookies at the most. Even small ones.
Same recipe I've used for years
I've been using this recipe for more than 30 years. The best cookie ever, hands down. Nearly my whole family has asked for the recipe!
I've made these cookies for the last 20 years, never get tired of it. I made it part of our holiday tradition! we can't get enough of it, we just have to make more!
I've made this recipe every year for at least 13 years. It is the most tender and delicious thumbprint cookie I've ever eaten.
It was very tasty because i liked how the outside was crunchy and the inside was chewy.

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