Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Buttery almond and vanilla shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam and drizzled with glaze. 

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to day #2 of Sally’s Cookie Palooza! Make sure you didn’t miss yesterday’s Chocolate Turtle Cookies. Total yum.

Shortbread thumbprint cookies. Buttery, melt-in-your mouth, sugary bites of bliss. I have never attempted shortbread before, but as per the usual – I am always up for a challenge.

I’ve made these shortbread thumbprints twice in the past 5 days.

A trial recipe on Saturday, which turned out to be quite good but not as buttery (and much too sweet) as shortbread should be. Kevin’s parents seemed to love them though! I made batch #2 on the day we had a gorgeous snowfall.

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I don’t know which is more beautiful. Today’s cookies or this breathtaking scene.

snowfall

Shortbread cookies are a classic Scottish dessert. I’m Scottish. (Any Scottish readers out there?) So, it’s about time I made shortbread from scratch.

Typical shortbread cookies are made up of one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Some recipes have eggs, some don’t. Some recipes have chemical leavening agents, some don’t.

My shortbread cookie dough is just pure sugar-butter-flour with almond and vanilla extracts. I took my shortbread cookie dough and made thumbprint cookies. However, this shortbread cookie dough can be molded into any shapes! After chilling, roll it out and make your favorite shortbread recipes using this dough. It’s quite easy to work with and I’m already dreaming up new shortbread cookie recipes using it.

How to make raspberry almond thumbprint cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I have step-by-step photos for you today. Visual guides are always helpful when I’m making something new, so hopefully you won’t mind all the photos in this post.

To start, make sure you have enough time. Shortbread cookie dough typically needs to chill for a very long time. My cookie dough will need to chill for at least 2 hours (the longer it chills, the puffier the cookie and more time the flavors have to meld with one another into the dough).  You also need the cookies to cool for 30 minutes after baked before glazing, so plan accordingly.

After you mix up the dough, it will be quite soft and buttery. Shortbread cookies are supposed to be buttery, so if your dough feels extra buttery – you’re on the right track. Press the dough down to compact it into the bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill until firm. 4 hours, at least! The longer, the better– trust me.

How to make raspberry almond thumbprint cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Once the shortbread cookie dough has chilled and firmed up, preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Please use an oven thermometer to test your oven temperature. My oven runs hot and I have ruined many (MANY!) cookies because my temperature was inaccurate. A thermometer is very inexpensive and will be one of the most important tools you have in your kitchen.

Shape the cookie dough into balls. Mine were about 1 Tablespoon of dough per ball. Make sure they’re nice and smooth. Then, make an indentation with your thumb into each ball.

How to make raspberry almond thumbprint cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it. Simply smooth it out with your hands if you can. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to have a few cracks.

Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry jam. You can certainly use any flavor jam you like best! Strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry, apricot, peach, boysenberry. Whatever you like best. Raspberry is my favorite and pairs beautifully with the almond/vanilla flavored dough.

Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 14-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake these! In fact, I only baked mine for 13-14 minutes. I prefer them a little soft.

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now… the sweet, creamy glaze! A simple glaze made from cream and confectioners’ sugar. If you don’t have cream, no worries. Use milk instead. Feel free to add a bit of almond extract to the glaze as well. I left it out. Drizzle the glaze onto each cookie. Watch as it glistens over the gorgeous red filling and buttery cookies.

You know I’m a sucker for glazed raspberry goodies, right?

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re buttery, sweet, glazed, fruity, and will absolutely melt in your mouth – just as shortbread should!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (264g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)1
  • 1/2 cup (160g) raspberry jam2

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. This cookie dough requires at least 4 hours for chilling and cookies must cool before glazing. Don't forget to plan ahead!
  2. Make the cookies: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the the sugar, vanilla, and almond extracts. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and pour the flour into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed.  Press the dough down to compact it and tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill until firm, at least 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (silicone mats preferred to reduce spreading). Shape the cookie dough into balls. Mine were about 1 Tablespoon of dough per ball. Make sure they're nice and smooth. If you find that the balls of dough are sticky and/or have gotten a little soft after rolling- place the balls of dough back into the refrigerator to firm up. You absolutely DO NOT want soft dough.3 Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it. Simply smooth it out with your fingers if you can. Otherwise, it's perfectly fine to have a few cracks. Fill each with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of jam. (Or however much it can hold.)
  4. Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 14-15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake.  In fact, I only baked mine for 13-14 minutes. I prefer them a little soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before glazing.
  5. Make the glaze: Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Add more liquid to thin out or add more confectioners' sugar to thicken to your desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Glaze will set within a couple hours.

Make ahead and storing: Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 6 days. Shortbread cookie dough can be frozen up to 2 months; baked cookies (without glaze) may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

  1. 2 Tablespoons of flour added to the recipe. I make my cookies with only 2 cups of flour, however I suggest readers add 2 extra Tablespoons to prevent extra spreading.
  2. Get creative with jam flavors! Any flavor you love works.
  3. Make sure the cookie dough is cold and firm at all times. If it's not firm and cold, put back into the refrigerator to chill. When working in batches, keep the unused dough chilled in the refrigerator. You may roll, print, and fill batch #2 and stick in the fridge while batch #1 bakes.

This shortbread cookie dough can be used to cut into your favorite shortbread cookie shapes.

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring BowlFlex Edge Beater | Silpat | Baking Sheet

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

These raspberry almond shortbread cookies are amazing! They're simple to make and you don't need very many ingredients! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies (step-by-step visual tutorial) by sallysbakingaddiction.com

291 comments

  1. I’ve made these cookies twice and they have been an outrageously big hit! I first made them for my job and before I could even get them in the car my mom and grandma tasted them and were raving about how great these were. When I finally did get them to work all of my co-workers and managers were super excited about them and requested for me to make them again.

    I made the second batch for my cousin and her family a couple of days ago and they were gone by the 2nd day. I now have 3rd batch in the fridge to bake tomorrow for them again! Thank you so much for this recipe because it’s sooo delicious and beyond simple to make!

  2. These look great! I think I’ll make a Linzer version and use cutouts! I bet they’ll be really nice for the Holiday Cookie Exchange I’m going to. 

  3. This recipe was a complete waste of ingredients!  It was difficult getting dough to hold together & after chilling dough as instructed the balls crumbled, I threw it out.  I’ve researched other recipes, most call for an egg yolk & less flour. Something is seriously wrong w/this recipe!!!!!!!

    • Sorry you had trouble with the recipe. These are shortbread cookies, so they do not contain eggs.

    • I too, had problems with these.  I thought they looked so good, but they melted into complete flatness on the sheet.  I followed the recipe to a t so I’m not sure where I went wrong.  The only thing I wasn’t sure of was the type of sheets you used.  My cookie sheets are insulated ones and maybe that made the difference.  

  4. This recipe is amazing! Such a wonderful base shortbread dough! I swapped out 100 g of the flour for almond meal flour. It was really soft so I added an additional 50g of flour and the cookies are delightful. The almond meal added a nice texture and a little boost in the nut flavor. We will be filling some with chocolate ganache, some with homemade meyer lemon marmalade and some with cherry preserves. Can’t wait! I might even use this recipe for my winter snowflake cookies! Yum!Thank you for sharing!

  5. I don’t see here how many cookies this recipe yields?  Thx!

  6. I really am the worst cook/baker. Ever! Lol. However, I seem to get viewed QUITE differently at mynew job. Why, you ask? Because of these! So easy: if you follow the directions and tips. And the taste and texture are amazing! Thank you!!

  7. Hi there! I was just wondering what would be the best way to shape these into squares! Oh and is there a way I could make these into pecan shortbread? If so how many pecans do you advise? 

  8. I made these cookies for our Christmas party last year and they were a huge hit! I am more excited about having them again this year than about Christmas – they are that good! I used Bonne Maman cherry preserves for ours because I love cherry and almond together. So so good. Thanks Sally!

  9. Sally, I plan on making these thumbprint cookies because your cupcakes were so Amazing!  I will let you know how it goes!  I’m in the planning process right now, but I have to hand it to you, your site is nicely done and more natural ingredients are used.  Shortbread cookies are Fabulous in my opinion and your instructions are easy to follow!  I would like to say if anyone is not able to understand your directions & photos, etc. then they are not paying attention!! 

  10. I followed this recipie EXACTLY, the dough was hard as a rock and crumbly. There was no way I was
    Able to shape these into balls let alone put a thumb indent in them. Sadly it was a waste of my baking ingredients. I will mimic these with a different shortbread recipe and just add the almond extract.

  11. Love these cookies! I followed the directions and they came together perfectly. For the people having trouble with the ingredients maybe it’s a weight issue? I measured by cups not weight but I’ve tried other recipes where both measurements are given and the weight doesnt equal the same as the cup; guessing it’s do to with different brands or varieties of flour? Anyway thank you for this recipe ❤️

  12. Hi Sally!

    I was checking out other thumbprint cookies to learn how to make chocolate ganache filling because I was gonna make a batch of thumbprint cookies I could use jam and ganache in. I noticed that some of the dough recipes had an egg and some did not. Can you please tell me why? I guess this is just a normal baking question but are thumbprint cookies traditionally a “no egg” cookie dough? Or does it just depend on the recipe? 

    I noticed your recipe didn’t have eggs either! 

    Thanks so much!

    • I don’t use egg because I prefer thumbprints that taste like shortbread– no egg. Just dense, sweet, buttery dough.

      It depends on the recipe and baker. I just prefer them without!

      • Hey Sally! 

        Thanks for letting me know! I agree with you and will make your recipe as planned! I am pretty sure I like the shortbread type of cookie as well. I do not think I have ever made a thumbprint recipe that had egg which is why I was like what are these recipes lol. 

        Thanks!

  13. Hi Sally! Do you think that these cookies would ship well? I imagine they’d be in the postage in my scenario for about 4 – 5 days. 

    • The jam and glaze sets after being chilled or even sitting out for a few hours, so I think they’d ship wonderfully!

  14. Hi sally, 

    Made them following your recipe to the t…dough is crumbly and not at all able to roll them into a ball…any suggestions on how to salvage the dough…

  15. Wouldn’t it be easier to make the balls after chilling for a couple of hours rather than four hours?

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