Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies


If you were to ask me if I had a favorite baker, I would tell you Gale Gand. She appears on random Foot Network shows from time to time, but I would believe that most people do not know who she is. Despite that, she is in fact my favorite baker simply because I have never, ever had one of her recipes fail me. I love the balance of flavors and ingredients that she creates. So when I went to try my hand at butter shortbread cookies for the first time, I did not falter or fear. And as always, I didn’t need to.


You’ve seen butter thumbprint cookies before. They can be topped with any sort of jam/jelly or with a dollop of chocolate. They’re rich and buttery, but not overwhelming. They’re divine. And easy to make! I love easy. I whipped these up for a BBQ right before I had to leave and they were perfect. They travel well and are total crowd pleasers.


There’s not really too much to say about this recipe. I followed it to the letter and it gave me perfect cookies, no tricks involved. This might have to go into my box of standby recipes now. The ingredient list is tiny; I always have them on hand. If you can’t find real vanilla bean, I’ve read that people have used a teaspoon of vanilla extract in this recipe instead, with no adverse affects. Enjoy!


Giant’s Thumbprint Butter Cookies | Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs by Gale Gand

* 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, soft insides scraped out
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup apricot, raspberry, or another jam of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking sheet.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla scrapings and salt and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and mix at low speed until incorporated. Using your hands, roll the dough into golf-ball-sized balls and arrange them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet, flattening them out a bit as you go. Using your thumb, press the top of each cookie to make a shallow well. Roll your thumb back and forth to widen the well. Using a small spoon, fill the wells with jam. Bake until very lightly browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the pan. Store in an airtight container.


9 Responses

  1. i had this. it was awesome

  2. im gonna try this with extra jam, no cookie.

    … im just going to bake the jam.

  3. […] thumbprint butter cookies! These cookies are ridiculously easy to make from a recipe I found on Buttered BlasphAmy, and I had all the ingredients on hand, save butter. Make the dough, fill the wells with preserves, […]

  4. Sorry folks, but these are the absolute worst cookies I’ve ever made – followed the recipe to a ‘t’, but…………

  5. Maybe you can comment more about your method. I’ve made this recipe probably a dozen times without fail. How do you measure your flour? I weigh my flour – 5oz to the cup.

  6. A great idea for future recipes this. Thank you for sharing it. Have you noticed how so many people appear to be cooking again? I wonder if the lack of funds due to the current climate has something to do with it and we all appear to be cooking again! its great!

  7. patrick, perhaps you did not use butter, but rather margarine.. using margarine in this recipe would surely cause the cookies to fail. It is paramount to use “butter” when specifically called for. Especially when baking confections.

  8. Used this recipe while trying to re-create a childhood cookie that has been discontinued called Keebler Sweet Spots. I put a Hershey Kiss on the hot cookie as soon as I took them out. I also made them very small in size so that they were almost bite size, a little wider than the Hershey Kiss. Yummy =)

  9. These cookies are delicious! I also melted some chocolate and added chocolate on some of them afterwards to look like a Christmas Millionaire cookie! Thanks, Amy.

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