Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

111 Comments 4.9

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe
Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies - get the recipe at Barefeet In The Kitchen

Light, buttery, almond flavored shortbread cookies have been the most requested cookie I make for almost as long as I can remember. My friend Augusta gave me this recipe years ago and it became a true favorite at first bite.

Just the right amount of sweetness, filled with jam and then lightly drizzled with icing. These cookies are a hit with everyone who tries them. Don’t be fooled by their unassuming appearance. These cookies will surprise you by just melting in your mouth.
Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies - get the recipe at Barefeet In The Kitchen

Thumbprint Cookies

There’s something so endearing and (dare I say) adorable about thumbprint cookies. Fruity jam adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the flaky shortbread cookie. The easy glaze on top of these Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookies adds a beautiful touch.

These cookies are perfect served with afternoon tea, on a dessert tray, or for snacking on any time of day. 

Almond extract is what gives these cookies just a hint of almond flavor. I think it adds a nice layer of nuttiness  that complements the buttery flavor of the shortbread cookie and the fruitiness of the jam.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

I typically reach for a jar of my family’s favorite Homemade Peach Jam to use in this thumbprint cookie recipe. You are welcome to use whatever sweet preserves you like. I’ve made it with several varieties of jam and the cookies turn out delicious each and every time.

Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry or cherry preserves would all work well in these cookies, too. Store bought or homemade, you just can’t go wrong.

Why not make a few batches of Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with different flavors? I promise you no one in your household will complain.

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies don’t get as much love as they deserve, in my opinion. Delicious, simple and not-too-sweet, they appeal to the palettes of kids and adults alike.

If you’re looking for more great shortbread cookies, I recommend Sugared Shortbread Cookies for sure. They’re a simple cookie sprinkled with sugar crystals that you can bake and serve all year round.

For a seasonal shortbread treat, Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies are delightful. They look impressive and festive but take hardly any time at all in the kitchen making them perfect to whip up during the busy holiday season.

More recipes I love that use Walker’s Shortbread are Coconut Shortbread Truffles and Shortbread Turtle Cookies. 

Tips for Making Thumbprint Cookies

Chilling the dough for a solid hour in the refrigerator is an important step in this recipe. So even if you’re in a hurry to gobble up those cookies, be sure not to skip it.

Chilling the dough helps keep the butter in this recipe solid. This helps cookies maintain their structure in the oven.

And when it comes to filling thumbprints with jam, less is more. A quarter teaspoon or so should do it. Too much and you risk disrupting the structure of the cookie and the jam to cookie ratios.

Another tip I have for baking thumbprint cookies is to be careful not to overbake! You want to take these cookies out of the oven before their brown. Overbaking will result in a hard tough cookie without that crumby delicate shortbread texture.

If you love these Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies, you’ll also want to try these Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies by A Beautiful Plate and Marmalade Thumbprint Cookies from The View From Grand Island.

 Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugar, flour and almond extract. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Roll the dough into 1″ balls or use a 1″ scoop to place them onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

  2. Press down on the top of each cookie and use your thumb to create a small indent. After all the indents are made, fill the indents with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

  3. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven before the cookies are browned. Let cool on the trays for 1-2 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack.

  4. To make the glaze, add the almond extract to the powdered sugar and then slowly add the milk to this mixture. Stir constantly and stop adding milk when you reach the consistency of icing. It should drizzle off the tip of a spoon in a thin white stream. Not watery, but not thick either.

  5. When the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the icing over the tops.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!
We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

4.89 from 9 votes
Light, buttery, almond flavored shortbread thumbprint cookies are a kid and adult favorite.
Pin Print Review
Servings: 40 small cookies

Ingredients 

  • COOKIE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Approximately 1/2 cup any flavor jam I used our favorite peach jam
  • GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugar, flour and almond extract. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Roll the dough into 1" balls or use a 1" scoop to place them onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
  • Press down on the top of each cookie and use your thumb to create a small indent. After all the indents are made, fill the indents with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
  • Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven before the cookies are browned. Let cool on the trays for 1-2 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack. 
  • To make the glaze, add the almond extract to the powdered sugar and then slowly add the milk to this mixture. Stir constantly and stop adding milk when you reach the consistency of icing. It should drizzle off the tip of a spoon in a thin white stream. Not watery, but not thick either.
  • When the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the icing over the tops.

Notes

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: These cookies freeze beautifully. When the icing has hardened, layer them into containers with wax paper between the layers. They will keep in the freezer for at least a month. They would probably keep much longer than that, but I wouldn't know. Mine never last that long. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal · Carbohydrates: 14g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 5g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 12mg · Sodium: 42mg · Potassium: 11mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 8g · Vitamin A: 142IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 4mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

Pin this nowto remember it later
Pin this recipe0

{originally published 8-12-11 – recipe notes and photos updated 4-7-15}

Filed under: , ,

Related Posts

Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

Reader Interactions

111 Comments Leave a comment or review

    Rate & Comment

    Rating




    You can now include images of your recipes in your comments! You'll need to register or log in to upload images.

  1. Sandra says

    Tried these. Followed recipe exactly. Turned out hard as hockey pucks. So dissapointung. Since this is a shortbread should we have used confectioner sugar?

    • Mary says

      I’ve never had this happen when I make these and I’m literally made them dozens if not hundreds of times over the years. This isn’t a traditional shortbread and it is a pretty delicate cookie. It should absolutely melt in your mouth. It doesn’t work the same way with powdered sugar. Did you possibly substitute another ingredient?

    • Crystal says

      The same thing happened to me, and I followed the recipe to a T. The only thing that I can think is that mine may have been over baked, but mine were still raw after 10 minutes. I’m going to throw some bread in with them and hope they soften up overnight.

    • Mary says

      I’ve only ever made this with salted butter. Unsalted will work fine though. I’d add a tiny pinch of salt if using unsalted butter.

  2. Brenda Church says

    These sound great. Long time ago. I used to buy chocolate marble short bread cookies. They just melted in my mouth. No longer can I find them or know how to make them. Can you help? I think you might be the wizard of short bread. 🙂

  3. hethir says

    a couple of people mentioned that theses came out really hard. i think they over baked. after 10 minutes, i too thought that they were now done. i removed from oven anyway and cooled on pan for 2 minutes. they were still a bit soft when i transferred to the cooking rack. now that they have cooled a bit, they have formed up. they are soft and perfect.
    i rolled mine in chopped almonds prior to baking. i also made these using vegan butter and did not ice them. delicious!5 stars

  4. Cheryle says

    Has anyone tried making these or experimented with making a gluten free version. I recently learned I am gluten intolerant and so miss out on Christmas cookies.
    There was a time that these were my favorite cookie.
    Perhaps a 1 to 1 flour product?

    • Mary Younkin says

      If you have a GF flour blend that consistently works in 1:1 substitution, it could work. If you do try it, please let us know how it works out for you.

    • Bonnie Matthews says

      I was wondering the same thing. If anyone has tried it, I would love to know what the results were. My granddaughter has celiac disease, and I know she would love these if they turn out good.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Unfortunately, this is not a recipe that I’ve had great luck adapting for GF, Bonnie. I really tried my best, but it simply wasn’t forgiving at all.

  5. Leslie says

    A new favorite. I am going to do some experiments with the basic recipe and try different extracts. Going to give maple a try by request from my 23 year old son who loved the almond ones.5 stars

  6. Giovanna says

    Fabulous recipe! I cannot stop eating these cookies! I made them according to the directions and didn’t have any of the issues that others reported. I also used a gluten free flour blend and it worked perfectly, Thank you and happy holidays!5 stars

  7. Suzie says

    These almond thumbprint cookies sound wonderful. Is it possible to add a few chocolate morsels instead of jam in the center? My kids are chocolate fiends. Thank you!

  8. Donna says

    Love these cookies! You can’t eat just one. Definitely do not overtake. After 10 minutes you think they are not done but they are. Elegant cookie great for displaying. Love this recipe!

  9. Rose C. says

    Was wondering if I can use star anise ? I would have to fine grate it. Also don’t know how much to add?

See More Comments