Mom’s Thumbprint Cookies

I want to believe that as adults we all hold dear a recipe or two that was passed down from our parents or grandparents. I was blessed to have both in my life, and they were all amazing cooks. A memory standout are my Moms thumbprint cookies that would be prepared in mid December but never filled with a delicious jam until the day or evening they were going to be eaten. I can still see in my mind the “Christmas Tree” plates she would display them on. Amazing food memories are some of the best…..I’m blessed to have many. It’s the holidays…..time to start baking!!!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspooons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar for rolling
  • 1/3 cup jam or preserves flavor of your choice — I love Rhubarb Jam or a raspberry blackberry combination


  • Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (you may instead use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add sugars, and beat, gradually increasing mixer speed to medium-high until ingredients are well-combined about 1 minute
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients until completely combined.  This dough will seem very dry and crumbly, so be sure to pause occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  If it starts to strain your mixer you can use your hands to finish working the dough together.
  • Scoop cookie dough into 1 Tablespoon-sized balls and roll very well (so that the dough is round and there are no cracks
  • Roll in granulated sugar and place on a wax-paper covered plate or small cookie sheet.  Use your thumb or the rounded back of a teaspoon to gently press an indent in the center of the cookie dough.  Repeat until all of the dough has been used.
  • Transfer cookie dough to freezer and chill for 30 minutes or up to a week.
  • Once dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees and place your jam in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Heat briefly (about 5-10 seconds) or until jam is not hot but is no longer firm and is easy to stir.
  • Once oven is preheated, place cookies at least 2″ apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake on 375 degrees for 11 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before filling with the warm jam or preserves