Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies are one of the most popular recipes on my blog every Christmas season! You get a buttery shortbread cookie base, a bright, vibrantly flavored raspberry jam filling and they’re finished with a sweet almond glaze. Simply put, they’re addictively delicious!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

My Favorite Thumbprint Cookie Recipe!

Every Christmas season these cookies need to be made at least once! They are one of my go-to cookie recipes throughout the year and people especially love them around Christmas time.

My brother who doesn’t even like dessert loves these cookies, if that doesn’t tell you something.


They are perfect for gifting, making for parties or just for an after dinner treat.

I love that they call for minimal, basic ingredients, they’re so easy to make and they don’t require hours of refrigeration.

And they’re one of the tastiest cookies I’ve ever had. Simple ingredients yet so much delicious flavor!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies Video (1 min)

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients for Thumbprint Cookies

Only 7 ingredients needed for these cookies (and only 6 if you opt to leave off the glaze):

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Almond extract
  • Seedless raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold.
  • Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry at first).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of jam).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Fill each with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp jam. Note that if jam is stiff and clumpy you may want to stir first so it spreads better.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 – 18 minutes.
  • Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool (at this point you can add a little more jam if you’d like to, it just won’t be set like the other is).

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

  • Drizzle cookies with glaze when when cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.
  • For the glaze:
  • Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cookies.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Tips for This Recipe

  • Only use real butter. Margarine won’t work here. It doesn’t have a great flavor and causes more spreading.
  • Use cold butter. It makes a world of difference for less spreading.
  • If cookies are cracking around edges when pressed every time, try re-rolling the balls once more then pressing again. The warmth of your hands will soften them up a bit making them crack less.
  • If jam is stiff I like to stir it first so it spreads out and fills the cookies in better.
  • If you only have one baking sheet be sure to wash and cool between batches. The fastest way to do this is to wash under cold water.
  • Sometimes I make half the glaze recipe, they really don’t need that much so it’s up to your personal preference. You can even omit it if desired.

Why are My Cookies are Spreading Too Much?

Of few people have said their cookies spread too much. Too much spread means you need a little more flour or a colder dough (so chill longer before baking) or try adding a little more flour to the dough.

Why is My Dough Crumbly?

On the opposite end a few others have said the dough their crumbly. The dough will be crumbly, keep mixing and it should come together. If it doesn’t you can add just a tiny bit of milk or butter to bring together or the next time around try a little less flour.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Is There a Substitute for Almond Extract?

For best flavor I recommend sticking with the almond extract, BUT if there is an allergy in your home, or to whom your gifting these too you can replace almond extract with vanilla extract. I recommend using 1 tsp vanilla in the dough and 1/2 tsp in the glaze so it’s not tinted too much.

I hope you love these cookies as much as I do! They totally remind my of a few of my childhood favorites, the Knott’s Berry Shortbread and the Pepperidge Farm Verona cookies but of course they’re a hundred times better!

Happy Holidays!!

More Christmas Cookies Favorites!

  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
  • Butter Cookies
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossoms
  • White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Sugar Cookies
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies