Thumb Print Cookies

Thumb Print Cookies are a basic cookie recipe that your kids will love to make with you. Especially when they get to stick their thumb in something.

They are made with a shortbread-like dough that is formed into balls and then each ball of dough is rolled in either coconut or chopped nuts. We usually do a combination of both.

You can substitute other ingredients for the jam, like a large chocolate kiss, dried cherries or dates. You can also bake the cookies without any filling in the thumbprint and fill with icing after they cool.

If you plan on storing Thumb Print Cookies, then it would be best to bake them without any filling. The jam tends to make the cookies soggy after a day or so. You can then add the jam just before serving.

Thumb Print Cookies

Thumb Print Cookies

Thumb Print Cookie Recipe


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or shredded coconut.
  • 1/2 cup jam


  1. Arrange an oven rack so that it is in the center of the oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
  3. Lightly grease your baking sheets or use parchment paper, and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.
  7. Place the chopped nuts or coconut on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls.
  8. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in the nuts.
  9. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch apart.
  10. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
  11. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned.
  12. Once they are out of the oven to transfer them to cooling racks immediately to cool completely

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