Thumbprint Cookies

You can never have too many Christmas Cookies, especially when they’re as good as these! Jelly Thumbprint Cookies are packed with peanuts and a sweet jelly center. They’re so delicious you’re going to want to keep them all to yourself!

These Jam Thumbprint Cookies are thin and soft and melt in your mouth like a shortbread cookie! Try both thumbprints and let me know what you think!

Thumbprint Cookies: delicious cookies wrapped in chopped peanuts and a dollop of jelly! Festive for Christmas!

Thumbprint Cookies make their way to our family Christmas dessert table every year. Either my aunt or grandma will bake a batch, usually with a combination of green and red jelly.

And truth be told, I’ve never eaten them. Not once. In all the years growing up, they were there, taunting me with their gooey jelly centers.

And I always chose these peppermint puffs. Or chocolate peanut butter fudge. Or Sugar Cookies. Never once choosing the thumbprint Christmas cookie.

For whatever reason, the odd looking cookies never grabbed my attention.

Until now.

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

A month or two ago as I was unpacking some of my cookbooks and recipe cards and I came across our family recipe for Jelly Thumbprint Cookies.

Clearly it was a sign that I needed to make them myself and finally taste the cookies I’d seen every Christmas for all those years.

So I did. And you know what?


I’m sorry I yelled. But I’m truly wondering: why have I avoided these cookies all these years? As I child, sure, it’s understandable I’d choose something chocolate filled instead.

But as an adult? Well, there is no excuse.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

I don’t know about you, but I love PB&J sandwiches. Even as an adult, LOVE them. If I have to pack a lunch sandwich to take somewhere, I often choose PB&J and all the other adults look at me like I’m from outer space.

These cookies are a grown up’s answer to PB&J Seriously. The crunchy peanut butter shell with the gooey jelly filling is so good I have a hard time doing it justice with words.

You guys….what was wrong with me all those years? Now that I know what I was missing out on I have to make them. Don’t be like me. Make these cookies NOW! Even if it’s not Christmas.

How to make Thumbprint Cookies

STEP 1. Make dough balls

Blend butter with an egg yolk, sugar, flour and almond extract. Then, form the dough into 1 inch balls using your hands.

STEP 2. Add nuts

In a small bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Dip each cookie dough ball into the egg white, then roll in the chopped peanuts. You may need to press down gently so the nuts stick to the dough.

STEP 3. Thumbprints

Here comes to thumb print part!Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, gently press the center of each cookie to make an indent.

Place about a teaspoon of jelly into each indent. I did half the cookies with green jelly and half with red.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, until nuts begin to brown. Cool completely.

What Jelly to Use

This time I used strawberry jelly and green grape jelly so I’d have Christmas colors, but the kind of jelly you use in these cookies is up to you.

Purple grape jelly would be pretty in these cookies and give them a classic “PB&J” taste. Raspberry and orange are other great flavors to use in your thumbprint cookies.

Jam and other preserves are good in thumbprint cookies if you prefer, but I find the jelly gives them an extra sparkly appearance!


Once cooled, transfer the thumbprint cookies to an airtight container. They’ll keep well at room temperature for about 5 days.

Thumbprint Cookies: delicious cookies wrapped in chopped peanuts and a dollop of jelly! Festive for Christmas!

Can you freeze thumbprint cookies?

Lots of you like to make cookies ahead of time and stash them in your freezer, so I’ll answer this in advance: YES, thumbprint cookies can be frozen. I’d recommend placing a layer of wax paper over the cookies then putting them in a freezer safe bag.

You can also make the dough ahead of time to freeze for whenever you want some freshly baked thumbprint cookies. Freeze them in balls, then just thaw, press, fill with jelly and bake.

Tips & Tricks

  • When it comes to jelly, less is more in this recipe. One teaspoon may not sound like a lot, but I promise you it’s plenty for each cookie. Too much jelly will spill out and burn as the cookies bake.
  • To make evenly shaped cookies, use a tablespoon to evenly measure the dough into one inch balls. You can also use a food scale, if you have one.
  • These are such fun Christmas cookies for the kids to help with! They will love making the thumbprints and spooning in the jam.
Yield: 24 cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Delicious cookies for the holidays!! Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint cookies; so good the adults may not share!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, divided
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp red jelly
  • 3 Tbsp green jelly


  1. In a large mixing bowl, blend butter, sugar, egg yolk and almond extract. Add in flour and salt until completely combined. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Place chopped nuts into a separate small bowl.
  3. Dip each ball into egg white then roll in nuts (pressing gently so they stick). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using thumb, gently press the center of each cookie to make an indent. Place about a teaspoon of jelly into each indent.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, until nuts begin to brown. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days. ENJOY.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

So learn from my mistakes and don’t go half your life without trying Jelly Thumbprint Cookies! Make a batch of these cookies with the kids tonight. Just don’t forget to save some for Santa!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 15, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I love the peanut butter and jelly combo! I remember my mom used to make thumbprint cookies, but not that combo! YUM!

  2. I’m with you on always going for the chocolate treats and not the jelly thumbprints. Now I know better 😉 Love the PB&J twist on them!

  3. These are so fun and colorful!!! I am rolling at your family secret…don’t encourage the kids to eat the cookies, so you can have more. I love it 🙂

  4. These cookies look so festive and absolutely delicious! I’d love to have them on our cookie plate for the holidays! Pinned!

  5. I would totally convince the kids these weren’t worth eating and keep them all to myself! Love the peanut butter and jelly combo!

  6. Well I guess you have a lot of cookie eating to do to make up for lost time. They look delicious. Can never go wrong with PB+J!

  7. Thumbprints with green and red jelly…this takes me back to the kind of thumbprints my grandma would make! I love the PB&J twist, too!

  8. Must be hard to know that you spent so many years missing out on these! It’s cool, though. Now you can make up for lost time and eat a ton. They look awesome!

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