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Jam and Walnuts Thumbprint Cookies

Jam-filled Thumbprint cookies have always been a big favorite on holiday cookie trays.  I think a good thumbprint cookie is buttery, with a touch of sweetness that pairs well with a not-too-sweet jam. 

Some favorite jam flavors for thumbprint cookies include apricot, raspberry, or currant.   The best jam flavor to use is whatever your family and friends love. It is nice to use a variety of jams in a batch of cookies.  Using a variety of jams will look attractive on your Christmas cookie tray.

Jam Thumbprints with Walnuts

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Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies

This thumbprint cookie recipe includes ground walnuts in the batter.  You'll find other recipes that roll the cookie in ground nuts before baking, but I like to mix my walnuts right into the batter.  
Jam thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday treat loved by people of all ages. They are made with simple ingredients and are easy to make, even for beginner cooks. Plus, they are incredibly delicious!

This recipe for jam thumbprint cookies is easy and traditional. It is perfect for home cooks who want to make a delicious and festive treat for their families.

Why You'll Love Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam thumbprint cookies are a delicious and easy-to-make treat that is perfect for any occasion. Here are just a few reasons why you'll love them:

They're customizable. You can use any flavor of jam or preserves you like, and you can also add nuts, chocolate chips, or other mix-ins to the dough. This makes them a great way to use up leftover jam or to create a unique dessert that everyone at the table will enjoy. Do you prefer hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds?  Well, go ahead and substitute the nut you prefer.  Make these cookies your own.

They're easy to make. Thumbprint cookies require minimal ingredients and equipment, making them a great recipe for beginner cooks. And, because they bake quickly, you can whip up a batch in no time.

They're delicious. The buttery cookie dough pairs perfectly with the sweet and tart jam, making for a truly irresistible treat.

They are perfect for sampling. 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. 

They're festive. Thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday cookie, but they can be enjoyed any time of year. They're perfect for serving at gatherings or simply enjoying as a special treat.

How to Make Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Tips for Success

Grind the nuts finely. 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.  
Thumbprint Cookies

Weigh or measure your dough for a consistent size. I like to roll my thumbprint cookies into balls about a half ounce to an ounce each.  A digital kitchen scale is a handy tool to use to weigh each cookie for consistency.

Be consistent with the size of your indentation. 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 but the cookie will still taste yummy.  It just won't look as pretty as you want it to look.

Use a variety of jams. You can use any flavor of jam or preserves that you like. For a fun twist, try using different colors of jam to create a festive pattern on your cookies. To make peanut butter thumbprint cookies, substitute peanut butter for the jam.

Thumbprint Cookies Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other types of flour in this recipe?
Yes, you can use other types of flour in this recipe, such as whole wheat flour or almond flour. However, the cookies may not turn out as light and fluffy as they would with all-purpose flour.

What if I don't have seedless jam or preserves?
If you don't have seedless jam or preserves, you can strain regular jam or preserves to remove the seeds.

Why are my cookies cracking?
If your cookies are cracking, it is likely because the dough is too dry. Make sure to add enough butter and milk to the dough so that it is moist but not sticky.

A batch of strawberry thumbprint on a rack.

Some Helpful Troubleshooting Tips

Weather and humidity can affect your dough. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour. If your dough is too dry, add more butter and milk.
If your cookies are spreading too much, chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking.
If your cookies are browning too quickly, cover them with foil for the last few minutes of baking.

Jam thumbprint cookies are a delicious and festive treat that is perfect for the holiday season. They are easy to make, and they can be customized to your liking. Try this recipe today and enjoy these classic cookies with your family and friends!

Christmas cookies, cookie tray, Christmas cookie recipes
Yield: 36 cookies
Author: Donna Urso
Thumbprint Christmas Cookies

Thumbprint Christmas Cookies

Jam and walnuts enhance these tender thumbprint cookies. They are perfect for Christmas cookie trays or any time of year.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time. Add the vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour and ground nuts until well combined.
  5. Scoop 1/2 ounce of dough and roll into balls about one inch in size. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. 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.
  7. Return the cookies to the oven to bake for 10 more minutes. Cool the cookies for a few minutes in the pan before moving them to a rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in layers separated by waxed paper in a well-sealed container. Freeze for longer storage.


Be sure not to overfill the indentation with your jam. Jam that bubbles over the cookie ruins the look but the cookie will still taste yummy. It just won't look as pretty as you want it to look.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.32 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.46 g

Carbs (grams)

8.91 g

Fiber (grams)

0.39 g

Net carbs

8.52 g

Sugar (grams)

3.16 g

Protein (grams)

1.36 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1.56 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

23.80 mg

This nutritional information excludes the jam.



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