These classic Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies combine the buttery goodness of shortbread cookies with the sweet tanginess of raspberry preserves, creating a delightful treat that's perfect for your cookie exchange or as a festive addition to your holiday platter.
I love making good old-fashioned classic holiday cookies around Christmas time and this easy recipe for jam thumbprint cookies totally fits the bill. These buttery cookies are adorable and super fun to make, especially with kids. Best of all, depending on what you fill these shortbread thumbprint cookies with, they can fit in perfectly any time of year.
Why This Recipe Works
These cute cookies are a standout for many reasons:
- Adorable. I love open faced center fill of these cookies, which looks great when filled with a delicious jam or preserve. It's no wonder this little treat is a favorite holiday cookie for so many.
- Easy! These cookies involve just a couple of steps, but they're surprisingly easy to make. Simply make the shortbread, roll it into balls, press the center to form a well, and fill it with your favorite jam or preserves.
- Delicious. The magic of these Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies lies in their perfect balance of textures and flavors. The buttery shortbread cookie base provides a delicate crumble, while the sweet raspberry preserve filling adds a fruity flavor.
- Old school classic. These classic thumbprint cookies are totally nostalgic and are the perfect cookie to make if you're looking for a throwback.
- Customizable. Not into raspberry jam filling? Not a problem! You can fill these sweet cookies with whatever your heart desires, be it strawberry jam, apricot jam, or lemon curd for a different take, making them a great option for any time of year.
Just a few simple ingredients are needed for this raspberry thumbprint cookie recipe.
- Butter. You'll want to use room-temperature butter here, so make sure you let it sit out for plenty of time, otherwise, the dough will be too difficult to mix.
- Granulated Sugar. Adds sweetness and contributes to the classic cookie texture.
- Egg. One egg binds the ingredients together, providing structure to the dough.
- Canola Oil. Adds moisture to the dough for a perfect consistency.
- Vanilla Extract. Enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.
- All-Purpose Flour.Forms the base of the dough, providing structure.
- Cornstarch. This is an essential ingredient! Many recipes for thumbprint cookies have the problem of spreading like crazy when baking. Using cornstarch helps to prevent spreading and ensures a delicate and crumbly texture.
- Baking Powder. Adds a slight lift to the cookies.
- Raspberry Jam/Preserves. You can use jam or preserves. I love using preserves since I think the little seeds provide some added visual interest. In terms of texture, jam is simply mashed fruit while preserves typically have larger pieces of fruit within the spread. With raspberries though, there really isn't much of a difference as the fruit doesn't typically stay whole during the processing of the preserves. Pick whichever you prefer.
How To Make Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Here's the step-by-step guide to making these sweet little cookies.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (You can also use a hand mixer.)
- Add the wet ingredients. Beat in the egg, canola oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
- Chill the dough. Wrap the shortbread cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to make it easier to handle. (Note - this is important! When making butter cookies, they can easily become a big mess if left out of the refrigerator for too long. Chilling the dough will also help to prevent the cookies from spreading too much when baking.)
- Shape the cookies. Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. (I was able to fit about 8 cookies onto a large baking sheet at once.) If you have leftover dough, put it back in the fridge until you're ready to make the next batch so that it stays cold.
- Create the indentations. Use a small measuring spoon (or just your thumb!) press gently into the center of the cookie dough balls to make a circular indentation in each one.
- Add the sweet raspberry jam. Spoon ¼ teaspoon of raspberry jam or preserves into the center of each cookie.
- Bake cookies. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Cool. Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Variations & Substitutions
There are so many ways you can customize these cookies.
- Try a different filling. Try using different flavored jams such as apricot, strawberry, or even lemon curd. You could even fill these with chocolate chips, caramel, and nuts to make Turtle Thumbprint Cookies! ( I may have to try this version next time!)
- Add some almond flavor. Experiment with almond extract in the cookie dough for Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies.
- Add a glaze. Drizzle with an almond glaze for an extra layer of sweetness.
- Make it colorful! Make your cookie platter festive by creating a variety of thumbprint cookies. Use different jams and preserves to suit your taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! The cookie dough can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. This makes it convenient for planning ahead during the busy holiday season.
Yes, you can shape the dough into balls, make indentations, and then freeze the cookies on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen cookies on a baking sheet, add the jam or preserves, and add a couple of minutes to the baking time.
If you used the cornstarch as written in the recipe, the cookies shouldn't spread too much during baking. However, equally as important is the chill time. For best results and minimal spreading, chill the dough before rolling it into balls and adding the jam. You should also place the unused dough back into the fridge in between batches to prevent it from getting too warm. There is a lot of butter in this dough so allowing it to become too warm will encourage spreading during baking.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can also freeze baked cookies in sealable freezer bags for up to 3 months.
If you try these adorable Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, let me know what you think in the comments below. And remember to tag me @frontrangefed on Instagram. I love to see your creations!
More Easy Cookie Recipes
- Lemon Biscotti With Pistachios And Lemon Glaze
- Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Recipe
- Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Date Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies With Vanilla And Maple
- Soft Sugar Cookies
Best Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
- 6 tbsp butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup raspberry jam or preserves
- Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and cream until light and fluffy. (Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer and beat everything together in a large bowl.) Beat in the egg, oil, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make the dough easier to handle, and to help prevent the cookies from spreading.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, making sure to make the balls smooth, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. About 2 inches apart. (Try to make the dough balls as evenly sized as possible to avoid any cookies from being over or undercooked.)
- Using a small measuring spoon, make a circular indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of raspberry jam or preserves to each cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cook completely.
- For best results, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes prior to forming the dough balls and baking.
- Mix it up by trying out different flavors of jam or fillings.
- Don't skip the cornstarch - it will help tremendously in preventing these cookies from spreading while baking.