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Jam and Walnuts Thumprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies have always been a favorite of mine on holiday cookie trays.  In my opinion, a good thumbprint cookie is buttery, with a touch of sweetness that pairs well with a not too sweet jam. I favor apricot, raspberry, or currant jams with apricot as my absolute favorite.  It is nice to use a variety of jams in a batch of cookies.  The colors of different jams will look enticing on your cookie tray.

Tender Jam Thumbprints with Walnuts

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Thumbprint Cookies
My Thumbprint Cookies

My thumbprint cookie recipe includes ground walnuts in the batter.  I've seen other recipes that roll the cookie in ground nuts before baking, but I like to mix my walnuts right into the batter.  You'll want to use a food processor or nut grinder to make sure your nuts are ground up finely enough.  Just be sure you don't grind them into a paste when using a food processor.  Do you prefer hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds?  Well, go ahead and substitute the nut you prefer.  Make these cookies your own.
Thumbprint Cookies

One of the things I love about Christmas cookies is their size.  I love a tray filled with a variety of little sweet bites.  It's fun to sample all the goodies and making your cookies small encourages sampling.  I like to roll my thumbprint cookies into balls about a half ounce each.  A digital kitchen scale is a handy tool to use to weigh each cookie for consistency.

Of course, the name of these cookies comes from the indentation you make in them to hold the jam.  You can use your thumb, the back of a measuring spoon, or the handle of any kitchen tool that will give you the indentation you need.  Be sure not to overfill the indentation with your jam.  Jam that bubbles over the cookie ruins the look.  Oh, the cookie will still taste yummy.  It just won't look as pretty as you want it to look.

My Jam and Walnuts Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

An Apricot and Walnut Thumbprint Cookie
An Apricot Thumbprint Cookie
Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup (2-sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground walnuts
  • assorted jams


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time.  Add the vanilla.  Stir in the flour and ground nuts until well combined.

Scoop 1/2 ounce of dough and roll into balls about one inch in size.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for five minutes on the center rack of your oven.  Remove the cookies from the oven, make an indentation in each and fill with jam.  Return the cookies to the oven to bake for 10 more minutes.  Cool the cookies for a few minutes in the pan before removing to cool completely.

Store in layers separated by waxed paper in a well-sealed container.  Freeze for longer storage.

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