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. Hi Sally!
    I just made two batches of these and they were fantastic! I made half with seedless raspberry jam (my fiancé despises anything that reminds him that he’s eating plants. don’t ask.) and half with peach preserves, and they were both amazing! I love the melt-in-your-mouth flavor of both!
    However, I would recommend making sure that the sides of the thumbprints are somewhat reinforced before adding jam, since some of mine had the jam leak out and dribble down the cookie during baking!
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. I have made this recipe two times now, following the directions exactly. Both times times, however, the dough has been very sticky (even after recommended chiling time), which made the thumbprint step very difficult. The cookies still turned out delicious, but I am disappointed that they were not easy to make, like your beautiful pictures show they should. What do you suggest I should try differently? More flour?

  3. These are SO good! I have found that the 1/4 c extra flour is necessary and I also put them in the refrigerator for a 30 minutes after forming and filling with the jam. I also lowered the oven temperature by 10 degrees (could just be my oven though!). These are seriously addicting, and the almond extract in the icing adds a little extra goodness!

    1. Thanks so much for reporting back Audrey! I agree about the almond extract being key to their taste.

  4. These cookies were perfect! Definitely loved adding the almond extract to the glaze. I will be making these again soon. 🙂 Thank you!

  5. I was wondering if you could tell me how to get the jam to kind of stiffen up? I really like these cookies but I like the way the store bought cookies have the jam that is stiffer, it doesn’t ooze out when you bite into it… Does that make sense?

    1. Hi Jenn. I do know what you are referring to and this jam *kind of* stiffens up. I’m unsure how to replicate store-bought cookies’ jam. I’m sure there is some sort of preservative in it or something.

  6. Hi Sally,

    Can you tell me about how many cookies this recipe makes? I may have missed it in the description.

    Thanks!

  7. I LOVE your blog. I have baked using recipes from several different sites but yours turn out the best. These cookies always get rave reviews.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Unsalted is best here – if using salted, your cookies may have a very very very slight saltiness to them. Which would surely be offset by the glaze and jam filling. It’s up to you.

  8. This is actually a copycat recipe put out by Land O Lakes that I have been making for years. Good cookies though.

  9. Can someone help me out, all of these websites have recipes for these cookies with raspberry jam/preserves, but no one has a recipe for the jam/preserves?!?! Do you have to can it, or can you just make it for the cookies without canning, and can a girl get a recipe?
    Thanks!

      1. Would it be best to freeze them after baking or just freeze the dough after it’s mixed and let it thaw a bit before rolling and baking?

  10. I made these last year at Christmas time and planning again this year as they were so pretty! I decided to post a comment to make some suggestions to the others. I remember that I used an end of a wooden spoon and went about 2/3 down into the ball of dough and then rolled around to make hole open up a little more at the top. I used Cherry Solo Pastry filling instead of jam. Only reason I did was that I had a can in my pantry I needed to use. Will continue to use. That made ithe filling firm like the one commenter had asked how. I used a frosting decorator with the largest hole to put the filling in the cookie. No cracks, no spreading, and no filling oozed out. Perfect! I glazed some and sprinkled large sugar crystals on some. Both were sooooo pretty! I included them in my “neighbor holiday trays”. They were a wonderful addition!

  11. Ohmygah! I just can’t wait to bake these! I do have one question first- After baking, cooling, glazing and setting, will these cookies be able to be stacked & packed? Or would they get smushed together and become a delicious crumbled disaster? =)

    1. Yep! The filling sets immediately and the glaze sets on the cookies after a few hours. Maybe go a little light on the glaze if stacking.

  12. I just tried these cookies today. I haven’t made many baked goods from scratch, so I can’t quite clearly identify what went wrong. I refrigerated the dough for nearly 4 hours, as suggested. The dough got a bit soft when I rolled them into balls. I don’t know if it had to do with the warmth of my hands, or the heating in the apartment, but when I baked the cookies, they all turned into a single cookie monster layer! 🙁 I also used aluminum foil instead of grease paper, because that was what was on hand, but did I mess this recipe up completely?

    1. Hey Katie! I never suggest using aluminum foil for baking cookies– in my experience, different cookies have different ways of acting/spreading on different surfaces and for these I absolutely recommend a silicone baking mat (1st choice) or parchment. If the dough got a little soft after rolling how about popping them back into the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes? That will definitely help.

  13. Hi Sally! I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I made these cookies for the first time today and oh my goodness I can’t believe how delicious they are! The recipe is so simple and easy to follow which I love too. Definitely a new favorite of mine.

  14. Thank you for the recipe, Sally! I am new here and this is the first recipe I have tried. And it was wonderful! Also, made them with my homemade huckleberry jam. Delicious combo!

    Thank you again!

  15. These are pretty much the yummiest cookies on the planet. But mine didn’t look nearly as pretty as yours! I guess taste is what matters tho, next time I will try more flour and see if they spread less and hold the jelly better. I know my dough was cold enough because I could hardly even roll the dough into balls it was so hard. But they still spread and the jelly leaked out somewhat.

  16. Oh my!! I attempted these this evening and I definitely chilled them before baking and they spread, jam and all!!

    I will bake them again tomorrow after being refrigerated overnight so keeping my fingers crossed.

    On a side note, I will omit the almond extract and just use vanilla if I decide to bake them again. They are very sweet!

    Thanks for sharing Sally.

  17. Hello! These look amazing! I’ve had my eye on the recipe for awhile now for Christmas baking. I may be complete oblivious but how many cookies does this recipe yield? I can’t find the answer anywhere ! Thanks 🙂

  18. Hey Sally,

    I’ll be making these for christmas shortly, but I was wondering is it possible to freeze the dough before baking to bake at a later time?

    1. Yep! Shortbread cookie dough may be frozen up to 2 months; baked cookies (without glaze) may be frozen up to 2-3 months.

  19. Mine are doing the same…..I’m bummed too.
    I guess what I will try next is after the thumbprint step I will freeze for ten minutes then bake. Wish me luck!

  20. these are delicious!
    Next time I would only not add the almond extract in the glaze as it becomes too dominant. Other than that, they are superb!

  21. 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!

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