Perfect strawberry jam cookies: this is a quick, easy, and delicious strawberry jam thumbprint cookie recipe that works out every time. No need to cream the butter and the sugar.
A simple recipe for strawberry jam cookies using just six ingredients, these soft and chewy jam-filled cookies are everyone’s favorite, the perfect sweet treat for this time of the year.
Thumbprint cookies are a classic Christmas cookie worldwide; the combination of buttery, soft dough filled with sweet and fruity jam and sprinkled with just a hint of icing sugar is irresistible.
Reasons to love this recipe
- Melt-in-your-mouth tender, delicious cookies.
- Fool-proof recipe: It works every time. If you measure the ingredients correctly, the strawberry thumbprint cookies won’t spread or crack, and the well in the center will stay put even if you bake the cookies without filling them first.
- You don’t even have to cream the butter and the sugar; that makes the recipe quicker and easier and spares you the need to remember to take the butter out of the fridge in time.
- You can fill them with jam before or after baking.
- The strawberry jam-filled cookies can be made in advance and keep well for several days.
- They make a great holiday gift.
- All-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
- Icing sugar: This kind of sugar will blend faster and better with the other ingredients, thus making butter and sugar creaming unnecessary. It also helps with the texture of the cookies; they will be super tender and chewy.
- Butter: Cold, unsalted, full-fat butter. Please don’t use any low-fat products in baking; the baked goods will not be the same. European-style butter with a fat content of 82% is best.
- Eggs: You will only need two egg yolks for the recipe. Freeze the egg whites for another purpose or make some Chewy German Hazelnut Macaroons – Nussmakronen.
- Strawberry jam: Smooth jam without any seeds or small fruit pieces.
- Vanilla extract: Optional for a bit of extra flavor. However, it’s OK if you don’t have it; the thumbprint strawberry cookies will still be perfectly delicious.
How to make thumbprint cookies filled with strawberry jam?
What tools do I need?
- Food processor or stand mixer fitted with hook attachments.
- You can use an electric hand mixer fitted with hook attachments.
- Or you can mix the dough without any electrical help at all. In this case, you will need a large mixing bowl and a butter knife.
- Cut the butter into small cubes.
- Dry ingredients: Sift flour, icing sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer or food processor. Stir or pulse a few times to combine them.
- Dough: Add the cold, cubed butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Knead or pulse shortly until the dough comes together, don’t overmix (1).
- Make dough ball: Turn it onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape dough with your hands. Don’t be tempted to knead it; press it together to form a smooth ball (2).
- Chill dough: Wrap the ball and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and leave it on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Break small pieces of dough and form small balls about the size of a smaller cherry. I’ve weighed the balls; one weighed about 0.35 oz/ 10 g. If the strawberry jam cookies are about this size, you will have about 40 thumbprint cookies (3).
- Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon to make a small well in the center of each cookie (3).
- Fill: Stir the jam to make it smooth. Fill each well with about ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam. Alternatively, bake the cookies without the filling, and fill them with jam once baked.
- Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Cool cookies on the trays for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely (4).
- Once cool, sprinkle the strawberry jam-filled thumbprints with a bit of icing sugar.
- Pro tip: Use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- Lemon zest: About one teaspoon mixed with the dry ingredients is a great addition.
- Don’t overwork the dough; it should be mixed until the ingredients start to come together. When shaping the dough ball, press the dough together without kneading it. Overmixing the dough will result in tough, crumbly cookies.
- Cookies that don’t spread: The best tip against spreading is (again) to use a kitchen scale to ensure that the ratio between the ingredients is perfect. Also, chill the dough; the colder it is, the better; chilling will help the cookies keep their shape better.
- Never place the cookies on a hot baking tray; they will start melting before they start baking, making them spread. If you only have one baking sheet, bake one batch of cookies first and let the tray cool before baking the second batch. Keep the waiting dough (or already formed cookies) in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake them.
- Filling: I prefer to fill the cookies with jam before baking them; the filling will set better. But if you prefer to fill the cookies after baking them, it is also fine. Let them rest on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes after baking, they will become firmer. Fill them with strawberry jam and let the jam set and dry for 2-3 hours before transferring the cookies to a container.
- Make the dough with your hands: Cut the cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture. Rub the mixture with cold hands until it resembles sand. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix again with the knife and the cold hands until the dough comes together.
- To make your hands cold, keep them under cold running water for a few moments, then dry them very well.
Sure, strawberry jam is our favorite, but any jam you like is fine (bought or homemade jam). We love to make classic thumbprint cookies with seedless raspberry jam or red currant jam.
What you must consider is that the jam should be perfectly smooth (without any seeds or tiny fruit pieces) and that it should be a tart sort. Sugar-reduced jam is my favorite choice; the contrast between the sweet dough and the tart jam makes these thumbprints so great.
I love to fill thumbprint cookies with lemon curd or Nutella (kid’s choice). In this case, fill the cookies after baking and let the filling set.
Keep the strawberry jam cookies in an airtight container; they will keep for 4-5 days.
More Quick Desserts
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Easy Strawberry Jam Cookies
- Food processor OR stand/hand mixer with hook attachments
- 2 cookie sheets
- 240 g all-purpose flour 2 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon, Note 1
- 70 g icing sugar ⅔ cup
- 1 pinch of salt
- 150 g unsalted butter cold, 1 ¼ sticks, Note 2
- 2 egg yolks large, Note 3
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 100 g strawberry jam smooth, ⅓ cup, Note 4
- icing sugar for sprinkling
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes.
- Dry ingredients: Sift flour, icing sugar, and salt in the bowl of the food processor or stand mixer, and stir or pulse them a few times to combine.
- Dough: Add butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract (if using). Knead or pulse shortly until the dough comes together, don’t overmix. Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and bring it in shape with your hands. Don’t knead it, press it together to form a ball.
- Chill dough: Wrap the ball and chill it in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before making the cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Form cookies: Break small pieces of dough and form small balls about the size of a smaller cherry, about 40 pieces. (Note 5).
- Make wells: Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets leaving some space between them. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon (works best) to make a small well in the middle of each cookie.
- Fill: Stir the jam to soften it. Fill each well with about ½ teaspoon of jam (Note 6).
- Bake the thumbprint strawberry cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Allow them to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, sprinkle them with a bit of icing sugar.
- It’s best to use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link). Measuring flour and butter consistently using cups is close to impossible.
- Butter with 82% fat is best (European style). Please don’t use lower-fat alternatives, they contain more water, and that will affect the results.
- Use the egg whites for making meringue or macaroon cookies, or freeze them in a small freezer bag or container for future use.
- A tart jam is best (lower sugar). You can use another flavor of your choice. Ensure the jam is smooth, without any seeds or fruit pieces.
- I’ve weighed the balls; one weighed about 0.35 oz/ 10 g. If the strawberry jam cookies are about this size, you will have about 40 thumbprint cookies.
- Alternatively, bake the cookies without the filling, and fill them with jam once baked. In this case, allow them to get a bit firmer while resting on the baking sheet (about 10 minutes). Fill them with jam (lemon curd, Nutella, etc) and let the filling set for 2-3 hours before transferring them to a container.