Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

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

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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

289 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Sally,
    I’m so glad you posted this recipe. I have been on a hunt for the best shortbread recipe, and I have found some that swear by using cornstarch in place of some the flour, and others that don’t. They say the cornstarch is supposed to give it more of an “authentic” Scottish texture, i.e. sandy. Do you have an idea what the cookie would be like with cornstarch vs all flour? I might do my own experiement with and without. (Total food science nerd right here).

    1. Hey Lauren! Though I haven’t tried it before, I did a ton of research on shortbread before baking these cookies. Try breaking up the flour amount into thirds and using 1/3 cornstarch. So, about 1 cup of cornstarch for this recipe. And sift them together before adding to the butter mixture.

  2. Thanks Colleen! I’ve always overlooked shortbread myself, but wanted to tackle it! There are so many things you can do with it. This is a great cookie dough for ruling into shapes too.

  3. Thumbprints are some of my all-time favorite Christmas cookies, and I’m excited about your shortbread recipe! Butter, sugar, flour and jam? How bad can that be? 😉
    PS. Cookies or snow??? Can I have the cookies WHILE watching the snow? Too hard to choose.

    1. Erin, you’d love these. The ingredient list is small but with butter, sugar, and jam (oh, and glaze!!!) how can you go wrong! 😉

  4. I LOOOOVE how pretty the jam center is. The deep dark red is so festive and gorgeous. Thumbprint cookies are one of my favorites and raspberry and almond flavor combo is a winner! These look so pretty, Sally 🙂

  5. Absolutely loooove these cookies, Sally! I think raspberry thumbprint cookies are in the Top 5 on ‘My Favorite Cookies’ list. Yours are photographed beautifully! I cannot wait to bake these!!

  6. I remember your other raspberry creations like they were yesterday…the sweet rolls, the coffee cake, danish braided bread…you are the raspberry queen and these look perfect! And I guess I knew you were Scottish? but didn’t really place it with shortbread….ahh, so cool you’re making something from your heritage! And those perfect little globes of dough. So ready to just be smooshed with thumbprints! 🙂

    1. I love raspberry! My favorite berry, and favorite fruit to bake with. It goes with everything! Especially glaze. Thanks Averie!

  7. These are so adorable! I’m not a big raspberry fan–I know, I know 🙂 –but perhaps I could substitute pumpkin butter for a fall gathering.

    1. Pumpkin butter would be a great substitute, Jen. Maybe you could add a little cinnamon to the dough or pumpkin spice too.

    1. Almond extract is one of those overlooked ingredients – I always forget about it. But when I do use it, I want to use it in all my recipes. You’d be surprised – not many people like how it tastes!

      1. Make sure you understand that many people have severe nut allergies. Almond extract could cause someone to go into ancelaphic shock. When you pass these out…be sure to tell people what is in them. Or leave it out.

  8. My first thought was…”Gee, I should roll these in sprinkles…” lol! You’ve got a convert here!

    You are making it hard to decide what to bake this weekend! I LOVE shortbread! I’ll bet a little lemon zest would be good in that glaze too….

    1. Hahahaha I am cracking up Christine. You and I think the same – I considered doing that when I made these. Lemon zest in the glaze – that would be SO good!

  9. Love the snow and cookies! There is nothing better than baking cookies well it is snowing at Christmas time! These thumbprints looks great and I never knew you were Scottish or that shortbread was Scottish. Cool! But really, now I need to go and add thumbprints to my growing list of cookies to make before Christmas!

    1. Tieghan, can you even believe that Christmas is only 13 days away? I still haven’t even done most of my Christmas shopping yet. Ooops!

  10. These are the most beautiful and round cookies I’ve seen all week! The color is just, well, perfect! and their size is just amazing – round and firm and ready to be picked up and stuffed into my face. 🙂 I cannot get enough shortbread and these are just so pretty, Sally!

    1. Thanks Mary Frances. I’m happy how the color turned out. I once shot raspberry jam before for another recipe and it was so dark. It almost looked black!

  11. Shortbread is one of my favorite things Ever! I can only imagine how delicious it would be in the form of a thumbprint cookie with jam! Absolutely gorgeous cookies, Sally. Can’t wait to see all the other cookie recipes you’ll be sharing with us! 😀

  12. I’m seriously going to be making these real soon!! Just a quick question. Does it matter what brand of jam you use or just any plain ol’ jam in a jar for spreading on biscuits jam???

    Thank You!!! Love it all Sally! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    1. Hey Rebe! It really doesn’t matter what brand you use – I got some at the farmers market for this particular batch, but the first batch I used regular store brand jam. Just use your favorite!

      1. Awesome! Thank You! One last question – sorry – I like to roll my next round of cookies while some bake. So if I roll, print and fill some cookies and stick them back in the fridge until the baking batch finishes, will that affect or change my cooking time?

        And is it alright if the jam chills or should I just get the dough ready for filling and then put in the jam right before putting them in the oven? I guess I could’ve put more simply as: does the jam need to be specifically room temperature? But I like to complicate things ^_^

      2. Don’t apologize! I’m here to help.

        1) Roll, print, and fill batch #2 and then stick in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
        2) Jam can be room temperature or cold. Good questions!

      3. Wow this just gets better and better! Thank You and also for all your patience!! I love your blog! I truly first started baking and learned (and still learning) how to bake from here!! Didn’t realize I’d fall on love with it. Truly appreciate it lol even if it was unintentional haha!
        Don’t know how you feel about being on camera, but I think you should consider making a YouTube Chanel! I’d definitely subscribe!
        Anyways, thanks again! Merry Christmas!!

  13. These look incredible! I am Scottish and have been following your blog for a few months now, I am already addicted! So great to see a fun take on a classic shortbread recipe, they look so pretty and tempting, I will definitely be adding this recipe to the Christmas baking list! 🙂

  14. These look delish, Sally! Thanks for sharing at such a perfect time- I have a cookie exchange on Tuesday, so I will be reading up all your new recipes until then to pick one! These are high contenders (I love love love marionberry jam and find every excuse to use it!).

    1. Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever had marionberry jam. I have no doubt it would be a great sub for the raspberry. Let me know which recipe you try!

  15. I have been waiting for this recipe since you posted the sneak peak on Instagram. I have jars of blueberry jam waiting to be used in my pantry! Cannot wait!

  16. Would it ruin these if I made them with vegan butter, like earth balance buttery sticks? I think it’s salted, so it probably wouldn’t work, right?

    Also, I hate to be annoying and correct typos, but I know that I would want to be told. In the sentence: “Shortbread cookies are supposed to be butter, so if your dough feels extra buttery – you’re on the right track,” I’m thinking it should say buttery instead of butter?

    Thanks, Sally 🙂

    1. Whoops! I just corrected that sentence. Forgive me, I get so excited to share a recipe – I type so fast. 🙂

      I’ve never tried to make these with a butter substitute. Worth a try! I know earth balance works for several cookie recipes. Let me know how it goes. Thanks again Michelle!

      1. Thanks for the reply, Sally! I think it’s so amazing that you take the time to respond to almost every comment. Not many bloggers do and it’s part of the reason I’ve continued to follow your blog 🙂 You’re so dedicated!

  17. These look really nice and yummy. These are my favourite type of cookie because once cooked, if you chill them, the jam turns into almost a soft, chewy sweetie. I’m Scottish and our family’s recipe is 2 parts butter and flour with 1 part sugar. Not diet food at all! One quick question, you use 1 tbsp. of dough per cookie but does the cookie spread at all once baked even with the 2 hour chill? Thanks !!

    1. Hi Eve! The cookies spread ever so slightly, as you can see in the pictures. The chilling prevents them from spreading all over the cookie sheet.

  18. I’ve been baking batches and batches and batches of shortbread over the past few days (I work as a baker offshore, and MAN do the guys out here ever plow through cookies) and I’m always looking for new ways to use the dough. I’ve done bars with candied citrus, cutouts decorated with icing, bars with sprinkles, but this is another great-looking way to try making shortbread! The boys are sure to love this. Thanks for the lovely recipe inspiration! I think i’ll try apricot or blackcurrant jam in mine, maybe even pineapple jam! (they have an unusually large variety of jams on this rig.)

    1. Oh Sara! These would be so good with pineapple jam! I hadn’t even thought of that flavor. You could do some with pineapple, some with apricot, some with blackcurrant. Those guys sure are lucky to get all the treats!

      1. There are going to be so many delicious shortbread thumbprints soon. What did you use to make the indentations in your cookies, by the way? I know they’re called thumbprints, but yours look so perfectly rounded I was wondering if you used something besides your thumb for them?

        (Also, just wanted to say a little thank you. I’ve been following recipe blogs for ages now, and while my friends have said I should start a little one of my own for ages, I’d always found it a little overwhelming until I found your series of posts about how to start up your own blog, how you did it and such. They were tremendously helpful and written in such an easy to understand, approachable way. I decided to try starting one with blogger for free, just to see how it would feel, and it’s such fun already, even only three little posts in! So yeah, thanks for those helpful posts! You’ve probably helped/inspired a lot of people start their own little blogs.)

      2. Hi Sara! Thank you for the very kind comment! Reading it this morning was so nice. I am SO happy to have helped you start your own blog. When I was first starting, I really didn’t have any clue what I was doing at all! I appreciate you saying thank you. 🙂

        I just used my thumb for the thumbprints actually.

    2. After using my thumb, I took the end of a medicine dropper (from my daughter’s antibiotic, a rather large one) and used that. It was soft so did not harm the cookie, and made a perfectly round indentation so the jelly fit in nicely.

  19. Mmm you always know exactly how to appeal to my heart and stomach. Raspberry jam is my favorite and seems like the perfect combo with shortbread, plus vanilla drizzle. Count me in. I wish I was your neighbor this holiday season, I’d be coming over every day!

  20. WHOO! I’m Scottish!:D I just wanted to say how much I love this website! I’m 15 (and like you, addicted to baking!!) and it’s really good to get trusted american recipes with grams (it really sucks all american style recipes to be in cups that we don’t use over here!). I have tried LOADS of these recipes and they are all absolutely yummy! I can’t wait to try these!!

    1. Hi Aileen! So nice of you to say hi. Happy you love my recipes! I’ve only just begun to convert recipes into grams for my non-US readers and everyone seems to be very grateful. So glad about that! Let me know if you give these shortbread cookies a try.

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