Recipe: Sweets – Thumbprint Cookies

March 3rd, 2013 No Comments
thumbprint cookie

Thumbprint Cookie

This cookie has been a Christmas baking tradition since I was a child.  I absolutely love these cookies, even if they are messy to make.  I suppose that’s have the fun though, sitting around the table, listening to Christmas music, and getting all sticky.  😛  Of course it’s all worth it when they are done and ready to eat.  It should also be noted, that despite the mess and time put in to making them, they did not last long afterwards!  I was always hard pressed to keep my mitts away from them long enough to allow other to enjoy them.  😀  I hope you find as much pleasure in them as my family and I have over the years.




Thumbprint Cookies


thumbprint cookies

Thumbprint Cookies


  • Cook Time:  10 minutes
  • Yields:  25 cookies



  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening (Crisco in a can)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (you pack it tightly in the measuring cup~~not loosely)
  • 1 large egg ~~ separate the white from the yolk  ~~ keep both parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure it is vanilla EXTRACT~~not vanilla Essence or Imitation Vanilla)
  • 1 cup flour (if you are using “self-rising” flour, leave out the salt listed below) (if you are using “all purpose” flour, put the salt in)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very finely chopped nuts  (2 1/2 ounce bag of nut chips will do one batch of cookies)(I use pecans~~they taste good!~~but you can use any kind you wish)
  • Red and/or green jelly (I just use strawberry jelly~~but any “red” jelly will  do~~the green jelly is usually a “mint” flavor, which I don’t care for~~but if you want red AND green on your cookies, you’ll probably have to buy it)



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Do not use mixer~~mix by hand.  Mix butter, shortening, brown sugar, egg YOLK only, and vanilla.
  • Work in the flour and salt a bit at a time~~stirring it in while you do.
  • Roll this dough into small balls using your hands.
  • Beat the egg WHITE that you have saved.  Just beat it slightly, until it looks beaten!
  • Dip the balls you have made into the egg WHITE.  We used to use a toothpick to do this~~because if you use your hands, your hands will get covered with gooey egg white!
  • Spread out your very finely chopped nuts on a dish towel.
  • Drop the gooey balls onto the nuts on the towel.  Take your hand and roll them around in the nuts until they are well covered with nuts.  Your hands WILL get yucky at this point!
  • Place this balls on a greased cookie sheet (a no-stick cookie sheet is best~~but if you don’t have one, just rub some Crisco on a plain cookie sheet before you put the balls on) (I usually rub Crisco on ALL my cookie sheets, even if they are the no-stick kind)
  • Press your thumb gently into the center of each cookie to make an indent ~~ the thumbprint!
  • About halfway through the baking time you have to open the oven, pull out the cookie sheet and punch all the little “thumbprints” down again.  If you don’t want to, you don’t have to, but the “thumbprints” puff out while baking.  If you want deep thumbprints to hold jelly, you need to do this.  If you have to take the cookie sheet out of the oven to do this, CLOSE the oven door while you are working on the cookies.  If you leave it open, the oven cools off and then you don’t have the 350 degrees needed to bake the cookies!
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  You can take a spatula and check the bottom of one.  They usually get brown on the bottom FIRST, so check!  If you wait until the top of the cookie looks very brown, the bottom may be burnt.  If the bottom looks golden brown, they are USUALLY done!  To be REALLY sure, you’ll have to break one open in the middle and see if the middle is still “doughy”.  If it is, bake them for another minute, and then check again.
  • Let them cool.  Fill the “thumbprints” with jelly.





About the author

I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)

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