Barefoot Contessa's Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprints are one of my top three favorite cookies - this is only meaningful because the number of cookies I have consumed in my lifetime is great. This is a classic shortbread style cookie - just butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt. 

I will look for any excuse to make these cookies. So when I decided to have a few friends over for dinner, it seemed like the perfect post-dinner treat.

Note: Normally I would roll the dough in sweetened shredded coconut, but this time around I went for a combination of chopped almonds and pecans (already sitting in my pantry). 

Jam Thumbprint Cookies - Adapted ever so slightly from Ina Garten's recipe


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup almonds (finely chopped) 
  • 1/2 cup pecans (finely chopped)
  • Raspberry and/or apricot jam


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. 

Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Be careful not to over mix - just pinch a few pieces of dough together to see if it holds its shape. If so, step away from the mixer...

Dump the dough onto a piece of saran wrap and shape into a flat disk or log. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

While you're patiently waiting (or eating the dough scraps leftover in the mixing bowl), throw the pecans and almonds into a food processor and chop in to small pieces. 

Once your dough has chilled, roll it into 1 1/4-inch balls. If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce - I just eyeball it. Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in the chopped nuts. 

Place the balls on an un-greased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation.

Ina recommends baking the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes. I on the other hand prefer my cookies slightly underdone, so I typically bake them for 15-17 minutes total. Cool and serve.

If you have the will power to limit yourself to just one of these tasty delights then I applaud you. Enjoy!