Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies

IngredientsFor 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Do not overbake.
  6. 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.
  7. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Base Recipe adapted from this SITE

Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies
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