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Thumbprint Cookies

Featured in our 2018 Christmas Guide

Yield: about 48 cookies

If kids are nearby, get them to help make these cookies. They’ll love poking the balls of dough to make the pocket for the jam.


  • 14-1/4 oz. (3 cups plus 2 Tbs.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. (1-1/2 cups) walnuts, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
  • 3 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup preserves, such as seedless raspberry or apricot


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer), beat the butter and walnuts on medium speed until very soft and light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, slowly blend in the flour until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  • Using your hands, roll the dough into 1- to 1-1/4-inch balls, and set them about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press your thumb into the middle of each dough ball to create a well for the preserves. Stir the preserves to loosen, and then spoon about 1/2 tsp. into the middle of each. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Rate or Review


  • hilda1 | 12/11/2018

    I tried to make these just now and the resulting dough is far too dry to shape in to balls. I wonder if the recipe is missing anything, perhaps an egg or two? Or maybe the amount of flour should be decreased? I did substitute almonds for the hazelnuts. Do you think that made a difference? Giving three stars as I really like the idea of these cookies but the recipe as written didn't work for me.

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