A signature Christmastime sweet, our tiny almond-flavored cookies bear the print of the baker's thumb, which is gently pressed into the partially baked cookie to create a well. A dollop of apricot, red currant, or raspberry jam fills the center. If you use fruit preserves you've put up yourself, the signature is even more personal.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt; add to butter mixture, beating on low until combined.

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  • Combine ground almonds with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls, and dip in beaten egg white, then in almond-and-sugar mixture. Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your finger or a wooden spoon. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

  • Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press down the centers again. Rotate sheets, and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly. Fill center of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon jam. Let cool completely. Thumbprints can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, between parchment, up to 1 day (or 3 days, if not filled with jam).

Cook's Notes

When reshaping the thumbprints after the cookies have baked for 10 minutes, dip your finger in ice water for several seconds and dry before reshaping; this will keep your finger cool. Or, use the bottom of a wooden spoon to make the indentations.

Reviews (4)

162 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 29
  • 4 star values: 32
  • 3 star values: 52
  • 2 star values: 36
  • 1 star values: 13
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2010
Just made these cookies - they're awesome - just like I remembered when my Grandmother made them. The only 'issue' i had - was the recipe said it makes approx 3 dozen - just looking at the amount of flour didnt think it would come close to that.....yielded about 2 dozen .5 ounces cookies. 1 inch ball (approx 1 ounce) made 1 dozen. Took out the measuring tape :-). So I halved all the balls into .5 ounce - didnt change the baking time or procedure - as I said they're 'Awesome'.
Rating: Unrated
12/30/2008
I doubled the recipe for these for Christmas Eve and I don't think I got to eat any of them, they were so good. I've been harassed for the recipe ever since.
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
I make these cookies every year for my family. This year i have almost twice the amount of festive deserts to make for my family. I was just wondering if i can Freeze the cookie dough of the thumbprint Cookies to gain a little more time for my other deserts?
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Rating: Unrated
11/09/2007
This is the best thumb print recipe I've ever used. I always use raspberry jam and omit the nuts or coconut but still roll them in sugar. I put the sugar on a plate and gently roll them into it. There not a very difficult cookie to make but the texture of the dough can be tricky. If it seems too runny use a little extra flour. Be careful not to overbake, they brown quickly. Reallly delicious cookies!