Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. ?

Well, maybe not, but these shortbread thumbprint cookies are so delicious that you are going to want more than one!

If you’ve arrived here at the French Blue Cottage because of “Cookie Week”, let me first say, “Welcome! I’m glad you came for a visit!”

And a big “thank you” to Maryann of Domestically Speaking for hosting this fun week full of cookies. I’ve discovered some new recipes that I definitely want to try over the holiday season.

Be sure to check out all of the other delicious-looking cookie recipes from my blogging friends. The recipes are listed at the end of this post.

thumbprint cookies with preserves in the center

These thumbprint cookies are so easy and they only require a few ingredients. The recipe makes about 6 dozen festive little cookies, so they’re perfect for serving at holiday parties or taking to family get-togethers.

Now on to the thumbprint cookie recipe…

thumbprint cookies on a live edge cutting board

5 from 4 votes

Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

A buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie with a bit of preserves in the center. Perfect for the holidays.

Course Dessert
Servings 6 dozen, 1 inch cookies


  • 3 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • preserves or jam


  1. Preheat oven to 300°

  2. Mix butter until light and fluffy.

  3. Gradually add dry ingredients until well blended. You can use a mixer with a dough hook or a handheld dough cutter.

  4. Dust hands lightly with cornstarch or powdered sugar, roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

  5. Press each cookie lightly in the center to make an indentation. Fill each with a dollop of your choice of preserves.

  6. Bake at 300° for 20-25 minutes. You want the cookies to be done, but not browned. Just a light, golden tinge on the bottom or edges is fine.

ingredients for thumbprint cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

First, mix the butter until light and fluffy.

whipped butter in a stand mixer

Gradually add the dry ingredients until well blended. You can use your stand mixer or a dough cutter for this part. I use my stand mixer with the flat beater for the butter and then switch to the dough hook after I’ve added the dry ingredients.

The dough will be crumbly, but it should easily form a ball when squeezed. If it doesn’t easily form a ball or if it falls apart, cut in a bit more butter. Shortbread is all about the butter!

shortbread cookie dough in mixing bowl

Lightly dust hands with powdered sugar or cornstarch, give a spoonful of dough a squeeze, and then roll it into a one inch ball.

Place cookies on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

thumbprint cookie balls on a baking sheet

Next, press in the center of each cookie with your thumb or finger to make an indentation. The cookies will crack a little on the edges when you do this, and that’s ok! You can always smooth around the edges a bit after you make the thumbprint if you like.

cookies on a baking sheet with thumbprint pressed in

Add a dollop of preserves or jam to the center of each cookie.

thumbprint shortbread cookies with jam and chocolate in the center

Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

You want the cookies to be done, but they should not be allowed to brown. Just a very slight golden tinge to the edges is fine.

Cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks.

thumbprint cookies on a pewter plate with a mug of coffee

I typically love blackberry preserves or jam with these, but any flavor would be delicious. I was out of blackberry this time, so I used blueberry for some and raspberry for others. In addition, I also added Nutella to some of them for my kiddos:)

thumbprint cookies on a two tiered serving tray

So that’s it! Easy, right?

thumbprint jam cookies on a marble counter

The biggest challenge I ever have with these is trying to keep from eating too many.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy baking!

P.S. If you’re new to the French Blue Cottage, here are a few favorites:

Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe

A favorite Fall decor post

A favorite remodeling post

collection of 19 holiday cookie recipes

Monday’s Cookies

Christmas M&M Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Almond Horn Cookies

Santa’s Whiskers Christmas Cookies

Tuesday’s Cookies

No Bake Cookies

Really Good Gingersnaps

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie

Wednesday’s Cookies

No Bake Cookies

Easy No Bake Peppermint Gingersnap Cookies

Italian Horn Cookie Recipe

Easy Spritz Cookies (not pictured)

Thursday’s Cookies

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Christmas Seven Layer Bars

Christmas Surprise Cookie Recipe

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Easy Holiday Nutmeg Cookies

Friday’s Cookies

Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Holiday Coconut Apricot Bars

Traditional Christmas Cookies




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  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to make the Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies! These will be great with coffee and a few girlfriends. ☕️ All of the cookie recipes look so good. So glad this is the perfect time of year to bake cookies.

    1. Thanks, Julie! Haven’t all of these cookies looked so good this week?! I can’t wait to try some of them:)

  2. 5 stars
    Your thumbprint cookies look and sound decadent. The jam look like the perfect sweetness for a delicious treat.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    My family will love them.

    1. Thanks, Megan! These cookies are a great “not-too-sweet” option. I’ve loved checking out all of the recipes during cookie week and I’m looking forward to some baking now:)

  3. 5 stars
    These look delicious, Carrie! My sweet niece has been waiting the whole week for your recipe to go live! LOL! I’m sure she’ll be visiting! Pinning and sharing!

    1. Thanks, Julie! I hope your niece enjoys the recipe, too:) Thanks so much for pinning and sharing it!

  4. I was looking forward to these the most in the cookie circle! They look super easy and yummy! I love when sweets have that little bit of fruit! I came from my Aunt’s blog (MyWeeAbode)! =D Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Bekka! I hope you really like these cookies! They are a great, not-too-sweet treat. I’m glad you visited the blog today. Your Aunt Julie is the best:)

    1. Oh, I agree! When I want a treat that’s not super sweet, these are perfect. Thanks for your kind comment, Mary Beth!

  5. These look so good Carrie! I love how you can personalize them with different types of jam. My daughter would love the Nutella version, too! I would love a few of these with a glass of milk 🙂 It was fun hopping with you this week!

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! I prefer the ones with jam, but the Nutella ones are pretty good:) I’ve really enjoyed blog hopping with you, too!

  6. These sound so good, Carrie! I have some homemade blackberry preserves from the summer that will be perfect to use when I make your recipe.

    1. Paula, I absolutely love homemade blackberry preserves! Perhaps I should figure out how to make that:) Thanks for your kind comment!

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