Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are 89.5% tastier than they look.

Now, i’m not saying they’re ugly. They just don’t have the seductive lure that other cookies may have. They’re not a supermodel cookie. They’re more like the girl next door cookie.

They are what every cookie should be: perfectly flavored, easy to throw together, impossible to stop at just one.

Light buttery texture. Sweet toasted coconut. A seedy spoonful of jam on top. Oh, these are heavenly.

P.S. – I bet you could make prettier cookies from this recipe if you weren’t packing, cleaning, on the phone, and baking all at once… multitasking.

I made these a few weeks ago. I was in a mental battle of whether to go home to Philadelphia for the weekend or stay in the city; Hurricane Irene was threatening to hit the big apple hard, and I live in a flood zone. I wanted to stay in the city. I had a to do list 10 feet long and no desire to hop on a two hour bus. But I was also terrified of being evicted from my apartment with nowhere to go. While I contemplated the pros and cons of staying/ leaving – I baked. Cookies always help a situation.

I had everything in my pantry – which was good because hurricane irene left the shelves of every store quite barren. They were easy to enough to whip up; they had enough steps to keep my mind busy and focused.

I ended up booking my ticket out of the city that day. I brought home the full batch of cookies to share with the family – minus the 4 cookies that mysteriously disappeared during the bus trip…

My family is pretty picky when it comes to my baking. They all have their own ideas of the perfect cookie. I’m never surprised to find a plate of untouched cookies just sitting there with no takers. Ok, actually it shocks the hell out of me each time – it’s cookies. Cookies people!!

I was curious to see how these would fly with my cookie snob clan. With 26 cookies presented to the crew – 12 disappeared in less than an hour. Even my picky, chocolate – chip – only loving little brother ate 3 in one sitting – the mark of success in my book.

The recipe comes from Ina; A woman who never lets me down. The directions are pretty straight forward and easy to follow. Keep a lot of extra flour around; things may get sticky when working with the dough. A lot of bakers probably have most of the ingredients on hand – always a plus! You can definitely play around and fill the cookies with whatever flavored jam tickles your fancy. I was bummed to find I only had apricot preserves in my pantry, but next time I plan on mixing it up and using an assortment of flavors.

The chiller weather definitely has me thinking about Fall baking! What Fall treats are you dreaming up?

Jam Thumbprint Cookies - Ina Garten



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 andsugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.


Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.


About bakerbynature

Hi, I'm Ashley! The baker, writer, and photographer behind this blog. Welcome.
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52 Responses to Jam Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Charles says:

    Aah, good old thumbprint cookies, I love them so much! Coconut is awesome, and little blobs of jam… so nice. Beautiful photos too… thanks for sharing. Just needs a nice cup of tea :)

  2. No worries how they look. To me, they look great and tasty!

  3. I make Ina’s thumbprint cookies every Christmas. They are amazing (like all her recipes) :)

  4. Love thumbprint cookies. I used to make these with my mom when I was little. I think I’ll have to do this with my boys soon as a little kitchen project.

    • That would be such a sweet mommy/ son project – love it. I was actually thinking of how great these would be for kids to make; there are a lot of steps which are always thrilling for kids.

  5. Sylvia says:

    These cookies did taste so delicious, I ate almost all the cookies myself that you brought to us Ash. I will try to make them because they dont need too many ingredients.

  6. hahaha i cannot imagine a plateful of cookies NOT disappearing! your family really must be picky cookie eaters! and i love this quote, “They are what every cookie should be: perfectly flavored, easy to throw together, impossible to stop at just one.” Cookies look fabulously delicious!

  7. These cookies are plenty pretty enough! Sometimes I deliberately make things a bit less refined than I could, just because I like the “homemade” look. Though apricot is one of my favorite jams, I’d definitely prefer raspberry jam with the coconut. But I completely understand your not wanting to run out to the store in the midst of Hurricane Irene!

  8. –I Am Making These. Fabulous. WOW. x

  9. Ooo, I love the addition of coconut in these! I often feel thumbprint cookies are sort of ‘blah’ except for the jam part, but I think the coconut around the outside would make me think otherwise!

  10. “Not a super model cookie” hehe I liked that!
    They sure are tasty though, aren’t they?

    I have only tried to make thumbprints once and I loved them.

  11. There can never be too much cookies in a jar! The butter was a little scary but that is also why this cookie will taste awesome….

  12. I think they look delicious, like they would melt in your mouth!

  13. 89.5% tastier? You must be good at mathematics. I have a different view – I can’t taste but it surely looks delicious, esp with those coconut bits

  14. Mmmm… butter and coconut and crumbly texture. How can you go wrong? I remember coconut macaroons from when I was a kid, and little jam thumb print cookies too – put that together? It’s cookie genius!

  15. This is a nice twist on the traditional jam and shortbread thumbprint cookies. I bet the coconut brings them to a whole new level of deliciousness!

  16. wok with ray says:

    What are you talking about? Girl next door is what I always like. . . cookie that is. :) When I saw your ingredients especially the butter and coconut, oh. then now we’re talking about Supermodel cookies. :)

  17. This looks like godsend. I could really use a cookie right now ….

  18. Those look pretty darn good to me!

  19. Love how you said cookies always help a situation :)

  20. Candace says:

    I think your cookies are gorgeous and so are your photographs of them. Really nice job! I’m going to pin this recipe as I have the cutest jar of cherry preserves that I’ve been saving for something special. I think this cookie might well be that something. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  21. Nezzy says:

    Whoa baby, I can smell those bakin’ in my Mom’s kitchen now. I haven’t thought about these since I left home. That’s been many, many moons ago…I’m old. Heeehehehe!

    Girl, thanks for sharin’ these…they’ll be a great activity with my grandkiddos. I’ve got eight of ‘em…ya know!

    From the rainy hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, ya’ll have a wonderfully blessed and beautiful day sweetie!!! :o)

  22. I think you’re being too hard on these cookies. I think they look delicious!

  23. Caroline says:

    I swore I left a comment the other day…I wonder what happened?! Anyways, these cookies sound deeelicious. Loads of butter always makes cookies/baked goods much tastier. :)

    • Caroline – you did. It’s so weird, I read the comment, then poof – it was gone! I’m happy you noticed too; I though maybe I was seeing things!

      These cookies were butter – licious! I loved them, and I can’t wait to play around with different flavored jams.

  24. Patricia D says:

    These cookies look delicious. They look very tasty.

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