I’ve always been a fan of thumprint cookies – crumbly little shortbread-style cookies with a dollop of sweet fruit jam on top. They’re basic, but delicious! In the last couple of years, I’ve also seen thumbprints filled with Nutella or salted caramel, and you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be making both variations as soon as I come out of my Christmas cookie coma.
I was going to give thumprint cookies a shot last year, but they were a casualty of the annual Too Many Cookies, Not Enough Time struggle, during which I shed items from my list and hope to get back to them another time. This was the time!
I stumbled upon a Raspberry Almond Thumbprint recipe that sounded like a delicious starting point, but I knew I’d want to change it up a bit. I’m not a fan of almonds or almond flavoring, so I intended to switch to vanilla extract. And raspberries are delicious, but strawberries are my favorite, so I wanted to change up the jam flavor.
I ended up making a double batch of these and once my husband starting munching on them, and couldn’t stop, I was glad I’d made that choice! This is a great basic recipe that you can easily switch to fit your desired flavor profile. My husband suggested the Nutella drizzle, and it’s an incredible accompaniment to the cookie!
Strawberry Nutella Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from Bakergirl, who lists the source as Sunset Magazine, December 1998
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Nutella, chocolate, or basic glaze – optional
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour. Beat until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes.
Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour. (Mine was refrigerated for 2 full days and had to be softened a bit at room temp to work with it, but it was fine otherwise!
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2-inches apart on foil, parchment, or Silpat-lined cookie sheets. Use thumb to make indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill the indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon of jam.
Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow cookies to stand on sheets 1-2 minutes, then remove to wire racks and allow to cool completely. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate, Nutella, or a basic glaze.