Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies have a tender, buttery base and a bit of jam in the center. An easy cookie recipe that tastes delicious!

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a must make. The cookie base is a tender, sweet, and buttery shortbread cookie and it’s made fancy (and pretty) by the addition of a bit of jam to the center right before cooking. I love the cooked jam in the middle! Not only is it pretty, but it tastes amazing too. I love how the jam cooks down just a little while the cookie is baking and gets a little thicker and a little stickier. These are some of my all time favorite cookies and I’m excited to be sharing them with you today.

I made this recipe as part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I participated in this last year and had a ton of fun and really looked forward to it again this year. Basically, a whole bunch of food bloggers have gotten together for a giant international cookie exchange between 475 people. We all donated a little to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (a nonprofit kids’ cancer research group). Last year this cookie exchange raised almost $14,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and I bet this year is close to that if not better. It’s a fun way for me to meet new bloggers, I get to do a little to help out a good cause, and I get cookies in the mail. It’s pretty awesome. You get a great recipe and if you search around today on the internet you should be able to find all kinds of recipes (everyone is posting the recipe to the cookies they mailed out today!). Jump on social media and search #fbcookieswap for even more recipes. It’s a very sweet day indeed!

I sent these jam thumbprint cookies over to Kathi at Laughing Spatula, Melissa at Mel Bakes Things , and Rachel at Southern Fairy Tale. I got the most delicious Citrus Butter cookies from Milisa of Miss in the Kitchen and super tasty Chocolate Nut Butter Meltaways from Farrah at Fairy Burger. It’s so much fun to have real cookies from real internet friends! I’m not sure where my third batch of cookies ended up, but I still have my fingers crossed something with come in the mail!

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Craving more? Subscribe to Bless this Mess to get new recipes, meal plans, and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #blessthismesseat on Instagram. I love to see your kitchen skills in action!

These Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies have a tender, buttery base and a bit of jam in the center. An easy cookie recipe that tastes delicious!

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen cookies 1x


These Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies have a tender, buttery base and a bit of jam in the center. An easy cookie recipe that tastes delicious!



  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup jam or jelly


  1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl add the egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat with a fork until combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the yolk mixture and beat to combine, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt and flour and mix until the dough comes together.
  4. Using a tablespoon scoop, scoop out a ball of dough and place it on the sheet. Place the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Use your thumb or a rounded measuring spoon to make an indent in the center of the cookies. Press gently with your thumb until the indent in the cookie ball is about an inch across, repeat this step with each cookie dough ball.
  5. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of jam to each indent. Put the prepared cookie sheets in the fridge and let the cookies chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the bottom edges start to brown. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and let them finish cooling on a wire rack. Store extra cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


You can use just about any jam or jelly you like. I used homemade raspberry jam, peach jelly, and strawberry freezer jam. They all worked great and they all tasted great too. Use your favorite and feel free to use a variety.

The key to the crisp and tender cookie is chilling the dough before baking it. This butter-heavy dough will spread really bad and the cookies will look ugly if you don’t chill them before baking.

  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 36 SERVING SIZE: 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89.7 Fat: 5.5g Cholesterol: 19.2mg Sodium: 19.4mg Carbohydrates: 9.3g Sugars: 3.8g Protein: 1g Vitamin A: 47.1µg Vitamin C: 3mg

Keywords: shortbread cookies, butter cookies, jam cookies, thumbprint cookies, easy shortbread cookies recipe, how to make thumbprint cookies

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The dough base for these jam thumbprint cookies is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Baking Cookbook. It’s a great cookbook!

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

You could add lots of things to the middle of this shortbread dough. I think chocolate, nuts, and caramel might be a fun direction to head in too! You really can’t go wrong with a recipe that calls for a cup of butter.

Enjoy my recipe and the hundreds of other cookie recipes posted today!

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Also excellent with a dash of anise in the mix. I’ve made this recipe several times with great results, except the time I let the butter get too soft, which made the cookies spread too much – still delicious but too crumbly.

Could I use preserves instead of jam or jelly? TY

Awesome recipe! My wife and kids loved them so much, I had to make another batch. Thank you!

Argh, I should’ve used this recipe for my cookie swap this weekend. I made creamcheese thumbprints and they were SO BLAND. Even the jam and powered sugar dusting couldn’t make those suckers very tasty. I’ll be making these next time!

Delicious with raspberry jam

Thank you for the nice recipe.

Ah! These thumbprint cookies look so darn tasty! <3 I need to try making them when I have a kitchen again! :]!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.