This thumbprint cookie recipe is a classic holiday recipe! The cookies are made with cream cheese for a smooth and soft texture and then stuffed with sweet raspberry jam. Drizzle them with their sweet and sticky cream cheese glaze for a cookie everyone will love!
What makes these cookies special?
I think that these cookies bring back memories for everyone. When it comes to food, and especially around the holidays, there are always memories associated with it. Wether it’s making the same food every year or just the act of seeing and eating the same things- this is what makes cookies like these so special.
Ingredients you need
- Cream Cheese- cream cheese is used in the actual cookie recipe and for the glaze. You only need one block (8 oz) and you will still have a little left over.
- Confectioners sugar- this goes in the cookie dough and the glaze too!
- Raspberry jam- I stuffed the cookies with raspberry but you can use any flavor!
How to make the cookies
You can either make the cookies in a stand or hand mixer or you can make it by hand with a medium sized bowl and a big spatula.
I fill these cookies with jam after they are baked.
I tried the before method and although they still tasted good, I didn’t like the way they looked. The jam kind of dried out a little bit too.
Step one- make the cookie dough
Cream the butter, both sugars, and cream cheese together on low speed if using a mixer or stir really well until light yellow and foamy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix again. Add in the flour and salt and mix until the dough forms.
Step two: Shape and press the dough
Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon kitchen, scoop the dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on a cookie sheet and repeat till you’re finished with the dough. Wet your thumb and gently press in into the middle of each cookie. Chill for 30 mins.
Step 3: Bake and fill
Bake the cookies at 375°F for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Fill the cookies with 1/2 tsp of jam
Step 4: Glaze
In a small bowl whisk together the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and milk until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze all over the cookies. Drizzling them on a diagonal makes them look really pretty!
Tips for recipe success
- When the cookies come out of the oven they may puff up a little. Press them down again with your thumb when they are still warm to make the thumbprint even deeper. Just be careful they may still be hot!
- To make the jam easier to fill, warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- This recipe doesn’t spread a lot so you can bake more cookies per sheet. You only need about 1 1/2 inches in between the cookies.
How to keep thumbprint cookies from cracking
Because of the cream cheese in this recipe it really helps to keep the dough soft so there shouldn’t be any cracking. It also really helps to wet your thumb before pressing it in. If they do crack you can just smooth the dough back together!
Storing and freezing tips
Storing on the counter- store the cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 3 days. They will keep longer in the fridge for up to 6 days.
To freeze the cookies you can either freeze the cookie dough or freeze the baked cookies. For baked cookies, wait to fill them and place them in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
These are some more favorite holiday cookie recipes:
Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
For the cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 4 oz cream cheese 1/2 cup
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
For the glaze
- 2 tbsp cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
To make the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 375° F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or make this recipe by hand. In the bowl combine the 1 cup softened butter with 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar. Cream on low speed or mix by hand until foamy and light. Add the 1/4 cup cream cheese, egg yolk, and 2 tsp vanilla and cream again.
- Add the 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp kosher salt and mix until the dough forms. Scoop out the dough using a small cookie scoop or using a kitchen spoon and roll into a ball. Line the cookies up on the baking sheet 1 1/2" apart. Wet your thumb and press it into the cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. The cookies may puff up slightly. You can press your thumb down again into the cookies to create more of a thumbprint. Be careful, they are hot! Warm up the jam for 30 seconds in the microwave. Spoon 1/2 tsp jam into each cookie.
For the Glaze
- Combine the 2 tbsp cream cheese with 1/3 cup confectioners sugar and 1 tbsp milk. Whisk until a smooth glaze forms. Line the cookies up on a cookie sheet and drizzle the glaze all over the cookies.