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:

Cookies

  • 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 made these exactly according the directions. They were incredibly delicious. I’m going to make another batch To be exact for the size of the cookie I measured 1 tablespoon per cookie according to your directions. Doing this it gave me 40 cookies instead of 26. Delicious!

  2. I made these for a cookie exchange and everyone raved about them. They were definitely the BEST cookies there. They are delicious and not good for my diet at all. Thank you so much!

  3. I rolled into balls and indented with a end of wooden spoon after 1.5 hour of chilling. Then placed them back in the fridge for an hour and baked on a regular baking sheet with butter. No problems !

  4. Tried these yesterday and they turned out so good so pretty! I did use Sugar Free Smuckers in mine. They made a nice addition to my other Christmas cookies. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. This looks like a phenomenal recipe! Do you think they would still be good if I substituted flour for a non-gluten flour like almond flour? Has anyone tried making them gluten-free?

  6. I had the dough in the fridge for two hours and its now hard and crumbly…idk what to do with all this dough

    • This happened to me as well! Did you find a solution?

      • I had the same problem. I went to make the thumbprint and it just crumbled, so I let it get soft, did the thumbprint and then put it back in the fridge for a bit, came out great!

  7. I followed the recipe exactly and my cookies are flat! I left the dough in the fridge for 5 hours. What do you think the issue is? Thanks!

  8. Don’t bother with the parchment paper, this one calls for the old time recipe. Directly on the cookie sheet is best as evidenced by my experiment tonight. I tried three ways and the hands down winner was , no paper, no silicone. That is, unless you prefer puffy and ….is there a bad cookie really? The ones I baked on parchment puffed up a LOT, those one the flat sheet were less” cakey”, my preference .

  9. Can I refrigerate the dough for 2 days? Will it still be ok?

  10. These cookies are amazing!! I love the buttery taste of the cookie coupled with the zing of raspberry jelly and sweetness of the glaze. After making these a few times, I think I have perfected the baking process. My first two attempts resulted in flatter cookies with crispy brown edges where they had spread. Still delicious, but not attractive. My third attempt resulted in cookies as they are pictured…yea!! The difference, CHILL the dough balls before baking for 15 minutes in the freezer. With each attempt, I let the dough chill overnight to harden before rolling into balls. But, the dough warms up in hands when rolling, enough to make them spread in oven. So, pop them in freezer for a few minutes and the cookies will be beautiful when you pull them out of the oven.

  11. I followed the directions exactly and let the dough chill for 6 1/2 hours…indenting the cookies with your thumb is not the best method! It was too oval. My first batch did not turn out! The jam ended up all over my pan! With my second batch I cooked the cookies by themselves (without jam) and this time used something more round for a more even center. I baked the cookies for 10 minutes and then added the jam and baked it for another 2 minutes. They turned out perfect that time! For the frosting, I recommend at least 4 TBSPS of milk, it was way too dry with just one. Overall, good recipe!

  12. Why does the recipe ingredient list call for 1 C flour, then down in the notes about adjustments made, it says 2 C plus2 Tbsp?? I’ve already made my dough and it is chilling, and I hope it’s not ruined…

    • Ah, it seems I can’t read thoroughly… a common downfall of mine in following recipes. Mistook the butter measurement for the flour. We’ll see how this goes.

  13. Hi Sally!
    I just wanted to say that I made these for Christmas this year, and they were a huge hit (meaning that there are none left!) — simply amazing! I do have to say that I did not add the raspberry part, just simple delicious shortbread. My grandmother had been making her shortbread cookies for years, and she could not remember her recipe, so it was my job to search for a new one, and who better to trust than a fellow Scot? Thank you so much for a recipe that I am sure to use many times for years to come.

    Wishing you a happy new year!

    p.s. – I was also lucky enough to receive your cookbook for the holidays, so I am very excited about that too!

  14. Do you think I could use lemon curd in place of jam?

  15. If I wanted to make plain shortbread cookies with maybe some sprinkles. Can I just use the vanilla extract and how much. Also when do you put the sprinkiles on before backing or just when I take them out of the oven.

  16. My family is obsessed with these cookies. I have made them twice. I used a cookie scoop and chilled the cookie dough portions in the refrigerator for four hours. Then, when I bake them I do not make a thumbprint before baking. Instead I bake the cookies as directed and then as soon as I pull them out of the oven I use a Pampered Chef mini-tart shaper to make an indentation in the cookies. I melt the jam in the microwave and then use a spoon to fill the indentation with the melted jam. I let the filling set up for about thirty minutes and then glaze. No worries about the jam running over the sides of the cookies. 🙂

  17. is it ok if i added almond flour?

  18. Hi Sally baked your chocolate chip cookies and right now it’s chilling in the refrigerator – onto the next recipe !
    Want to make these yummy looking cookies today but my question is can you make the dough – roll it / print it and pop in the freezer and bake when required? Thanks sally

  19. I just mixed the flour in with the wet ingredients and its not very soft and buttery…more crumbly. Is there a way to fix it now before I go on?

  20. Hi sally do you think it would be ok to use this dough as a base and add other stuff like nuts , coconut , toffee bits , espresso etc – these are just some shortbread cookie variations I’ve seen online – without having so many different shortbread recipes I was thinking of using your dough and then doing different variations …hope this makes sense … And would this dough work as a slice and bake? Thanks !

  21. Hi Sally,
    Wanted to know if I freeze the shortbread cookie dough, should I roll out the dough, cut the cookies out first and freeze or just freeze the flat cookiendough disc? What do u think is best?

    Luv ur cookbook!!

    • I recommend freezing the dough either two ways: as a whole and then thawing overnight in the refrigerator before forming into balls. OR chilling in the refrigerator as directed then rolling into balls and freezing the balls.

  22. I wanted to make these cookies look like those I used to see in a bakery with just sprinkles on top. Do I need to use the almond extract.

    P.S. Sometimes I just love reading your recipes because of the photography and your writing style. I’ve been reading a lot of different websites lately. Sally yours is exceptional. The way you take time to REALLY explain every little detail. I never had any faith in being able to bake before. Your instructions make me feel confident. Thank you.

  23. These r the BEST cookies I have ever ate, I’m not sure this is a good thing or a bad thing lol, every time I walked into my kitchen I ate a cookie, I told my husband I hope u didn’t want too many of these cookies, so feeling bad I did the only thing I thought I should do and made more of these wonderful cookies. Thanks for sharing…

  24. Hey Sally! Would soft icing mixture work for the glaze if I don’t have icing sugar? I’m so excited to try out this recipe!

  25. I make these cookies all the time! I love your site very much and I always use it when I need great idea! No one ever believes me when I say that I made them, their so good. I guess they don’t expect it from a 16 year old girl. Any who, I love your baking and I can’t wait for more recipes soon!

  26. Great recipe and I have a question. How long did you wait to glaze your cookies, my two attempts produced a great cookiie but the glaze melted down and coagulated in the middle ..I left them cool for 1 hour . Did you wait longer? And what did you use to pipe your glaze on with? And not sure if anyone else wants this tip, but I actuallly rolled my dough into parchmend paper before putting it in the fridge, and then cut through it in slices to get nice round and even shape……I just the glaze had not reduced in the way it did.

    • I usually wait until the cookies are cool to glaze on top. I use a squeeze bottle to drizzle it on top.

  27. Buttery and delicious, I followed the exact recipe except didn’t have time for the glaze. But I didn’t miss that little extra, these were so good 🙂 Also my first time making shortbread. I’m glad I found a basic shortbread recipe that I can reuse. Thanks!!

  28. I just made these for my son’s graduation party. They are amazing! Followed the recipe exactly. A beautiful and delicious cookie all in one. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Just made these and they are delicious. Used whole wheat flour and also 1/2 cup of butter 1/2 of plain greek yogurt! Turned out great 🙂

  30. I love thumbprint cookies and raspberry is my favorite. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.

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