Melt-in-your-mouth classic jam thumbprint cookies, Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies, filled with both raspberry and strawberry jam, and perfect in every way—just the way Grandma made. Buttery, tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and perfect for the Christmas holiday. In fact, the Christmas cookie tray wouldn’t be complete without them. Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone will love these perfect jam-filled thumbprint Christmas cookies!
A Christmas Cookie Classic:
Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Merry Christmas, my friends!
Today, on Christmas Eve, I thought it would be appropriate to share one more Christmas cookie recipe with y’all handed down in our family—Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies—and wish you all a happy holiday.
My Great-grandmother Mitzi passed down this special Jam Thumbprint Cookie recipe to my Grandma Gigi. She in-turn passed the recipe on to my mother, my sister and me. It has been a family holiday favorite over the generations and we never fail to bake them each and every year. In fact, the Christmas holiday cookie tray would not be complete without them as well as our family’s fabulous and buttery-nutty Snowball Christmas Cookies.
Making imprints in sugar-coated dough balls using the end of a wooden spoon.
This recipe for Jam Thumbprint Cookies is a bit different. It is not a shortbread cookie as the recipe includes two egg yolks for a nice rich European-style sugar cookie.
In addition, the cookies are quite petite and dainty. Our family recipe directions are to use the index finger, rather than thumb, to make the indentations to hold the jam. Alternatively, my Grandma Gigi taught me to use the end of a wooden spoon for nice round and deep centers to best hold the jam. This would be the preferred method for ladies with long fingernails.
Filling unbaked cookie balls with a blend of seedless red raspberry and strawberry jams.
The only changes I have made from the original recipe are that 1) I cut down the recipe from a much larger recipe and 2) I do not dip the raw cookies into egg white before rolling in granulated sugar. The cookies are much easier to make this way and they do not develop a hard outer crust—just a nice subtle crunch from the simple sugar coating.
Jam thumbprint cookies all filled and ready to be baked.
The best part of this recipe besides the incredible flavor is that there is immediate gratification. By that, I mean beautiful and freshly baked holiday cookies are just moments away as there is no need to chill the dough. This is a boon for busy baking moms and impatient children!
Here at Wicked Good Kitchen, we hope that our recipe for Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies becomes a new Christmas holiday favorite and tradition at your house.
Warmest wishes to you and yours for a meaningful and joyous Christmas holiday season!
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!
Buttery melt-in-your-mouth classic jam thumbprint cookies filled with both raspberry and strawberry jam. Perfect in every way—just the way Grandma made at Christmas time.
For the Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (80 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 egg yolks from large eggs (mine weighed 36 g w/o shells)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract, optional
- ¼ teaspoon (1.2 g) fine-grain sea salt
- 2½ cups (300 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Sugar Coating
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated cane sugar, or regular granulated sugar
For the Jam Filling
- Homemade or fine-quality strawberry jam and/or seedless red raspberry jam
- Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place granulated sugar for Sugar Coating in a small bowl and combine strawberry and raspberry jams (about ⅔ cup total or about 158 ml) for Jam Filling in another small bowl; set aside. If desired, keep jams separate to fill the cookies.
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, beat butter until creamy and smooth. Beat in confectioner’s sugar and mix until well incorporated scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Add egg yolks, extracts (if using both) and salt; mix until well blended. On low speed, gradually add flour and mix until just fully incorporated. Once again, scrape the bowl with rubber spatula when needed. Do not chill the dough.
- Measure enough dough to roll into small ball shapes using a 1-inch (2.54 cm) spring-loaded cookie scoop (or with a teaspoon from a measuring spoon set) making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.
- Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve small rounded balls and then roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 1½ inches (3.8 cm) apart. With index finger, or end of wooden spoon handle, make imprints into the center of each dough ball. Spoon a small amount of jam into the center of each dough ball.
- Bake in preheated oven until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Do not overbake.
- Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Then, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Only use completely cooled cookie sheets lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper before baking each batch.
Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 1½ inches (3.8 cm). Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Cookies will keep for 1 week at room temperature and 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Cookies freeze very well when placed into an airtight container with sheets of wax paper between the layers. (The wax paper absorbs excess moisture and prevents cookies from sticking together.) Thaw cookies in the container at room temperature allowing any condensation (moisture) to remain on the container and not the cookies. Once thawed, serve on cookie tray.
How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 120 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
How to Measure King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: There is no need to aerate the flour. Simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 160 grams per 1 cup of gluten free flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
To Make a Double Batch:
You will need:
2 cups (4 sticks or 1 lb or 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
1⅓ cups (160 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 egg yolks from large eggs (mine weighed 72 g w/o shells)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract, optional
½ teaspoon (2.4 g) fine-grain sea salt
5 cups (600 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 to 1⅓ cups (200 to 266 g) granulated cane sugar, or regular granulated sugar, for sugar coating
Plenty of homemade or fine-quality strawberry jam and/or seedless red raspberry jam, for jam filling
Follow recipe as directed above to prepare the dough and bake the cookies.
Yield: Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
For Gluten-Free Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies: Substitute 2½ cups (400 g) King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 g) guar gum, such as by Now Foods, for the regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. (It is important to whisk in guar gum until evenly distributed throughout the flour because it is very sticky once moisture is added and sticky lumps are undesirable in dough.)
Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommends selecting organic ingredients whenever possible.
For this recipe, and all our baking recipes calling for unbleached all-purpose flour, we highly recommend the pure and Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour by Hodgson Mill® because it is naturally white and contains no additives. We also highly recommend organic grass-fed butter, eggs, granulated cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar and jams or preserves as well as Nielsen-Massey® Organic Pure Vanilla Extract and Nielsen-Massey® Pure Almond Extract.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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