Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

thumbprint cookies

Let me tell you a story about some cookies I made. It starts with a trip to the grocery store for some butter–that part repeats for a while–and ends with a possible spot at the Seattle Underground Market. Introducing: Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

I made these cookies once before, back in Ithaca, not from this exact recipe, and they came out perfectly. Baking this time was an ongoing funny mistake. After obsessively building a stockpile of butter, I ended up running out of flour and only had 1 1/2 cups of flour instead of the prescribed 2. And instead of using my thumb and spooning in jam as one does when making thumbprints, I tried to use tools and fancy contraptions and learned never to do so again.

So the jam was a bit scant in some of the cookies, and they were a tad buttery (is that bad?), but overall I’m very proud of these cookies and want to continue working to improve the recipe.

But here’s what I’ve got right now:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • about 1/2 cup jam of your choosing

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 tsp milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Mix in flour until combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on lined cookie sheet. Indent the cookies with your thumb (or maybe pinkie). This is how mine looked:


Note how some of the holes seem wider and shallower and some seem thin and deep. Go wide.

Fill each indentation with jam. I used Smucker’s Organic Red Raspberry Preserves. I mention this because jam is an integral ingredient in these cookies and you want to make sure the quality is up to par. I don’t care about name brands and I don’t care about Smucker’s, but organic is key. The ingredients in my jam? Organic sugar, organic red raspberries, fruit pectic, citric acid. That’s it. I was looking around at Target and all of the regular, non-organic jam were mostly made up of high fructose corn syrup. That’s not how I want to flavor my cookies.


(Of course, if you want to be amazing, make your own jam!)

Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for one minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cookies can be glazed when they are completely cool.

To make the glaze, combine confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and milk, adding the milk gradually until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. My drizzling was kind of heavy-handed and I’m not sure what to do to make it more delicate and light.

Overall, the cookies are comfortable, buttery, and simple. The jam offers a bite of tart fruitiness at the center to liven things up a bit. The glaze is unnecessary but delicious and I’m always happy with more almond flavoring.

Among my six types of cookies (I think I baked like 25 dozen cookies in all, what a crazy week), these were the first to go in my house. That’s why I’m thinking about trying to sell them at the Seattle Underground Market in a month or so!

Of course, at the underground market I would have to do something crazy to really bring these cookies up a notch. I’ve been thinking about buying some jam from a seller at Pike Place Market. He has a lot of great fruity flavors, and spicy ones as well. Would you eat a spicy thumbprint cookie?



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About Emily Suggests

Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother.

3 responses to “Almond Shortbread Thumbprints”

  1. Margie Shapiro says :

    LOVE your blogs … so glad I subscribed!

    We missed your family at Thanksgiving this year, but glad to see that you’re enjoying Seattle. I guess we’ll have to wait til Linddsay and Joel’s wedding to see you all NEXT October?

    Happy Chanukah/Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    Love, Margie


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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