What are thumbprint cookies? Thumbprints are divine little cookies that are rolled into balls, then pressed down with your thumb to create an indentation in the centre (hence the name 'thumbprint').
The centers are then filled with all sorts of yummy fillings.
If you want to make them festive or add extra decoration simply roll your thumbprints in sugar, coconut, sprinkles or nuts before baking.
The combinations are simply endless. These are such fun little cookies. Not only will you enjoy making them, but deciding on the flavour combinations and extra decorations adds to the enjoyment.
Cream the butter and sugar together until the butter lightens in color and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until creamy.
Beat in the flour either by hand or using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F. Line cookie sheets with baking paper.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in beaten egg whites, then in the chopped walnuts.
Place on the baking trays about 1 inch apart. Using your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie ball.
Bake in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Fill with fillings just before serving.
All of these thumbprint cookies can be made using the basic thumbprint cookie recipe above.
Add 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon, lime or orange zest when adding the eggs yolks and vanilla.
Roll in egg white, then in 1 cup of toasted shredded coconut, then bake. Fill with lemon curd or lime curd.
Make dough according to recipe above. Roll balls in colored nonpareils or sprinkles. You won't need to roll them in the egg white first.
After baking pipe vanilla frosting into center.
Adjust the above recipe to 1 ¼ cups flour and ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
Roll the balls in egg white then in 1 cup chocolate flavored sprinkles.
As soon as you remove them from the oven press a Kisses milk chocolate into each cookie.
Add ½ teaspoon almond extract to the recipe above.
Roll balls in egg white than 1 cup finely chopped slivered almonds.
After baking and when cookies have cooled, fill with a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then place a pie cherry on top.
Add ½ teaspoon mint extract to basic cookie recipe.
Omit the egg white and roll balls in red or green sugar. Immediately after baking fill with red or green candy coating disks. Return cookies to oven for a further minute.
The dough needs to be firm enough to roll. If it is too soft, chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. To ensure even baking, make sure all the cookies are the same size.
If rolling the balls in nuts, toasting the nuts first enhances their flavor. Allow to cool then chop finely.
It is important to make sure that the well in the center of the cookie is large enough to contain the filling.
If the cookie centers puff during baking, re-press centers using a melon baller or the end of a wooden spoon.
If filling with jam, use a smooth jam without any pieces of fruit.
Your thumbprint cookies should be stored unfilled in an airtight container, layered between sheets of waxed paper.
They will store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Better Homes and Gardens
Other Thumbprint Cookies