These thumbnail cookies are so pretty! They’re soft, buttery and we get to fill them with our favourite fillings! A bite-size shortbread cookie that is so delicious it melts in your mouth, and they are very easy to make. The dough is made with just 5 simple ingredients and rolled into individual balls. To achieve the perfect thumbnail cookies, use only high-quality unsalted butter. Make sure to soften it before mixing, in that way we can ensure the dough is smooth and less likely to crack. For an extra soft dough, use three tablespoons of cornstarch (this gives the cookies extra lift). Then, use your thumb to make an imprint exactly after making each ball. If using the jam as a filling, add it before baking. But when using a chocolate filling, add it afterwards.
Your filling options are entirely up to you! You can use the classic Jam Filling; raspberry, apricot, strawberry, blueberry (my favourite), or cherry jam. If your jam is too thick, take a few tablespoons and microwave before use. You can also, use chocolate filling (different kinds, again sky’s the limit) and decorate your thumbnail cookies, sprinkle with candies. Oh, I love how we can great creative with it!
To prevent your cookies from cracking, remember to roll the cookie dough until the surface is smooth. Imprint as soon as possible, don’t wait for it to stiffen. If in case you still see small cracks, you can just press the dough to seal. We don’t want unpretty crack cookies anyway.
When baking you want your cookies to not spread. Not enough flour to hold them will cause your cookies to spread too much. So you have to use the correct measurement. If the kitchen scale is available, use it, if not, fill your measuring cup and level it off using a knife. Remember not to over mix your ingredients, too. You should stop mixing once everything is combined. Chill the dough before baking (the colder the dough, the less your cookies will spread). And one last thing, when you are baking in batches, never (again never) add the cookie dough directly in a hot baking sheet.
Place your homemade thumbnail cookies in an airtight container at room temperature and consume it in 5 days. When stored in the fridge, so long as they are in a sealed freezer-safe bag, they will last up to 3 months.
Thumbprint Cookie Dough
1 c unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 c sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of raspberry jam, or other flavours such as apricot, strawberry and cherry jam
Chocolate Filling with Holiday Sprinkles
3 oz white chocolate, melted
Dark Chocolate Filling with Bear Paw Decor
3 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
White Chocolate Filling with Snowman Decor
3 oz white chocolate, melted
1 tsp. coloured sprinkles
Dark Chocolate Filling with Reindeer Decor
1/4 c candy eyeballs
1/4 c red decorating balls
1 c pretzels
To make the Thumbnail Cookie Dough
1. Prepare a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl and electric hand mixer. Line a baking sheet using a parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Using the stand mixer, beat softened butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy and well combined.
3. Stop the mixer. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and cornstarch while mixing on low speed for another 2 minutes or until well combined. If using a hand mixer, you can use a wooden spoon to mix.
4. The dough will look dry and crumbly. It is pretty normal so don’t panic. First, scrape down the sides again. Now use your hands to form the dough into one piece.
5. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of dough. Roll it between your palms to shape it into a 1 1/4 inch or 3cm ball. Make sure it is smooth without any cracks.
6. To make an imprint, use the tip of your thumb about half-inch into the middle of the ball. Or you can also use the back of a 1/4 tsp. to make an imprint. Repeat for all the dough.
7. Place the indented balls an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
8. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
Jam Thumbnail Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C ten minutes before the end of the chilling time.
2. Take the jam out and stir. Microwave for 10 seconds if the jam is too thick.
3. Remove cookie dough from the fridge. Fill the indent with jam, full but not over-flowing.
4. Put inside the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. make sure to remove them before your cookies start to brown.
5. Remove cookies from the baking sheet with a rigid spatula and place it on wire cooling racks. Cool completely.
Chocolate Jam Thumbnail Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C about ten minutes before the end of chilling.
2. Place unfilled cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
3. Microwave your chocolate for 2-3 minutes at 50% power in 30 seconds intervals, stirring each time until smooth. (This depends on the amount of chocolate and your microwave power.)
4. Make sure to remove the cookies from the oven before they start to brown. Transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely.
5. Fill each indent with melted chocolate, decorate with sprinkles, candies, or pretzel pieces (whatever you desire).
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