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Festive Thumbprints | Christmas Cookies and Treats

Festive Thumbprints

This colorful classic is a sure hit with kids because, let's face it, there's just something so cool about making a cookie you get to stick your finger in.


  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fruit jelly or seedless jam, lemon curd, or favorite pie filling


1. Measure the nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the machine to finely chop the nuts, then set them aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter. Gradually beat in the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Then stir the flour mixture into the butter one third at a time. Stir in the chopped nuts. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes.

Festive Thumbprints Step 4

4. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. Heat the oven to 325°. Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch-thick balls and place them on the sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Next, press your thumb into each ball to make a deep impression. (Tip: Before shaping the dough balls and pressing your thumb into the centers, dust your hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking.) Bake the cookies on the center oven rack for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of filling into each thumbprint. Store the cookies in a tin until serving time. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.