Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

12.08.2018

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies are one of the most popular recipes on my blog every Christmas season! You get a buttery shortbread cookie base, a bright, vibrantly flavored raspberry jam filling and they’re finished with a sweet almond glaze. Simply put, they’re addictively delicious!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

My Favorite Thumbprint Cookie Recipe!

Every Christmas season these cookies need to be made at least once! They are one of my go-to cookie recipes throughout the year and people especially love them around Christmas time.

My brother who doesn’t even like dessert loves these cookies, if that doesn’t tell you something.

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They are perfect for gifting, making for parties or just for an after dinner treat.

I love that they call for minimal, basic ingredients, they’re so easy to make and they don’t require hours of refrigeration.

And they’re one of the tastiest cookies I’ve ever had. Simple ingredients yet so much delicious flavor!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies Video (1 min)

 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients for Thumbprint Cookies

Only 7 ingredients needed for these cookies (and only 6 if you opt to leave off the glaze):

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Almond extract
  • Seedless raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold.
  • Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry at first).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of jam).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Fill each with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp jam. Note that if jam is stiff and clumpy you may want to stir first so it spreads better.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 – 18 minutes.
  • Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool (at this point you can add a little more jam if you’d like to, it just won’t be set like the other is).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Drizzle cookies with glaze when when cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.
  • For the glaze:
  • Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cookies.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Tips for This Recipe

  • Only use real butter. Margarine won’t work here. It doesn’t have a great flavor and causes more spreading.
  • Use cold butter. It makes a world of difference for less spreading.
  • If cookies are cracking around edges when pressed every time, try re-rolling the balls once more then pressing again. The warmth of your hands will soften them up a bit making them crack less.
  • If jam is stiff I like to stir it first so it spreads out and fills the cookies in better.
  • If you only have one baking sheet be sure to wash and cool between batches. The fastest way to do this is to wash under cold water.
  • Sometimes I make half the glaze recipe, they really don’t need that much so it’s up to your personal preference. You can even omit it if desired.

Why are My Cookies are Spreading Too Much?

Of few people have said their cookies spread too much. Too much spread means you need a little more flour or a colder dough (so chill longer before baking) or try adding a little more flour to the dough.

Why is My Dough Crumbly?

On the opposite end a few others have said the dough their crumbly. The dough will be crumbly, keep mixing and it should come together. If it doesn’t you can add just a tiny bit of milk or butter to bring together or the next time around try a little less flour.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Is There a Substitute for Almond Extract?

For best flavor I recommend sticking with the almond extract, BUT if there is an allergy in your home, or to whom your gifting these too you can replace almond extract with vanilla extract. I recommend using 1 tsp vanilla in the dough and 1/2 tsp in the glaze so it’s not tinted too much.

I hope you love these cookies as much as I do! They totally remind my of a few of my childhood favorites, the Knott’s Berry Shortbread and the Pepperidge Farm Verona cookies but of course they’re a hundred times better!

Happy Holidays!!

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Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

4.75 from 75 votes

These Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies are simply delicious and they definitely need to find a place on your holiday cookie tray!

Servings: 36 cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (300g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup (124g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 - 4 tsp water

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold).

  3. Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry and crumbly at first).

  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
  5. Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of jam). Fill each with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp jam. 
  6. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 - 18 minutes.

  7. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  8. For the glaze: Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. 
  9. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cool cookies. Let set at room temperature then store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  • *To measure flour scoop with measuring cup and level with a butter knife. Don't whisk or sift first and don't spoon into the measuring cup.
  • Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes and Allrecipes.com
Nutrition Facts
Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Potassium 14mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Sugars 9g
Vitamin A 3.1%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 0.4%
Iron 2.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas cookies, Thumbprint Cookies
Calories: 117 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

317 comments

  • Eileen: I don’t have a mixer with a paddle. I only have an electric hand mixer or a regular blender. Can I use a hand mixer for these cookies? If so, please give me the recipe on how to do it.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas. December 11, 2018 at 8:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could try mixing the dough until it gets to heavy for a hand mixer then mix in remaining flour by hand – it is a very thick dough though and would probably be difficult to work (maybe some kneading by hand could work but it would soften though dough so you’d want to chill longer). Merry Christmas to you! December 16, 2018 at 2:04pm Reply

  • Sheryl: Do these freeze well ? December 11, 2018 at 2:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried so I searched online and people are saying they do freeze well. December 11, 2018 at 7:40pm Reply

      • Chenoa: Are they freezing before or after baking? December 11, 2018 at 7:48pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Before baking so they’ll spread less. December 16, 2018 at 2:04pm Reply

  • Tetesa: These cookies are superb! Instead of raspberry jam, I used home made cranberry sauce, the perfect compliment! Today I’m tweaking this version and making orage, with chocolate kids in the cup. Plain glaze😁 we’ll see! December 11, 2018 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Sara: I don’t own a stand mixer. Are there any suggestions for an alternative way to mix? December 10, 2018 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The dough is pretty thick so this isn’t one I’d recommend doing by hand. A food processor should work though. December 10, 2018 at 9:51pm Reply

  • DianeDesforges: This are very good recipe December 9, 2018 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Carol: So good! I have been making these for 15 years. The cookie is so delicate with that slight almond taste, and the almond glaze puts it over the top with goodness! One change is I work with room temperature butter, not cold, then I refrigerate the dough for about an hour before baking. December 9, 2018 at 9:59am Reply

  • Scot: Would strawberry jam work in place of the raspberry jam? December 9, 2018 at 7:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be fine. December 9, 2018 at 1:31pm Reply

  • Karen: Can these be made with gluten free flour? December 9, 2018 at 5:48am Reply

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