The Easy Thumbprint Cookies That Deserve All the Christmas Love

The classic thumbprint cookie shines in all the colors and flavors of the season. Thumbprint cookies are some of the best Christmas cookies because there are so many different ways to fill and top them. You can even experiment with a different flavor of cookie dough. In this basic thumbprint cookie recipe, a buttery six-ingredient dough gets rolled in fun coatings, baked, then filled with your family’s favorite flavors. Choose one or try all of them and add to gift boxes for cookie exchange parties!

Decorate these cookies with our basic decorating icing recipe or try one of the festive flavor combinations below.

Related: 200+ Christmas Cookie Ideas Your Family Will Love This Holiday

Thumbprint cookie-filling ideas 

  • Chopped almonds + orange marmalade

  • Hot fudge sauce + crushed peppermint center

  • Powdered sugar + maraschino

  • Chopped shelled pistachios + salted caramel sauce

  • Sparkle sugar + lemon curd + vanilla glaze drizzle

  • Chocolate sprinkles + mint buttercream frosting

<p>Teresa Blackburn</p>

Teresa Blackburn

Related: Best Christmas Dessert Ideas

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt

  • Coatings and fillings

  1. In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, while mixing. Add vanilla extract, flour and salt and mix until dough is well blended.

  2. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times to make sure ingredients are combined. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

  3. Spread coatings (sprinkles, decorator sugars, crushed candies, nuts, etc.) evenly on small plates or flat-bottomed dishes.

  4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a tablespoon, scoop chilled dough and roll into balls. Roll each in desired coatings, shake off excess and place on baking sheets. Make an indentation in the centers using your thumb or a wooden spoon.

  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are a pale golden brown. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before rolling in powdered sugar (if using) and adding fillings to the centers.

Kitchen Counter

Per cookie (36 cookies): 112 cal, 6g fat, 34mg chol, 1g prot, 14g carbs, 6g sugar, 0g fiber, 34mg sodium