These Heart Thumbprint Cookies are filled with Strawberry Jam and make the cutest Valentine's Day cookies. These thumbprints take less than 30 minutes to make with no chilling time required!
Me and the kids came up with these cookies over the weekend and they are so yummy. Thumbprints are similar to shortbread cookies, but are a bit less dense. They have a sweet, buttery taste and the jam compliments the flavor perfectly.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- They are sweet, buttery and delicious
- The recipe is super easy to make with minimal ingredients
- These cookies don't need to be chilled before baking
- It's the perfect Valentine's Day cookie with those cute little hearts
All purpose flour: A versatile flour great for baking. All purpose flour gives us a soft and chewy texture in these thumbprint cookies.
Unsalted Butter: Ok, so disclaimer here. I tested the cookies first with salted butter and no salt and both versions are good. If you don't have unsalted butter, go with salted butter and no additional salt. You will be totally fine, as long as the butter is softened. Bakers prefer cooking with unsalted butter because it gives them control over how much salt they add.
Sugar: White granulated sugar is used in this recipe for sweetness and it creams together perfectly with the butter to create a light textured cookie.
Egg Yolk: Helps to create the perfect chewiness for these thumbprint cookies and creates a richer flavor. The egg yolk is what really separates thumbprint from shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies usually don't use egg, which gives them a denser consistency than thumbprints.
Vanilla Extract & Salt: Added for flavor
Strawberry Jam: You want to use jam or preserves for this recipe. Jelly is much more runny and will likely leak out of the cookies for a total fail.
Variations & Substitutions:
If you don't have unsalted butter, you can use salted butter in this recipe without any additional salt. I've tested it and the cookies still turn out really great. I like the flavor of the dough a bit more with the unsalted butter, but it is a very subtle difference.
Not a big fan of Strawberry jam? Use cherry or raspberry jam or preserves. If you don't care for seeds, I wouldn't suggest raspberry because it's usually very seedy. You can use any type of jam, but red or pink looks the best in these heart shaped cookies.
If you don't own a stand mixer, you can easily use a large bowl with a hand mixer instead.
Big on berry flavors? Try my Lemon Blueberry Cookies too!
How to Make Heart Strawberry Jam Cookies:
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Here are the step by step instructions on making these heart thumbprints:
Step 1: Prepare the dry ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Step 2: Divide the Egg
Carefully separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Discard or save the egg white. You only need the egg yolk for this recipe.
Step 3: Wet Ingredients
Into a stand mixer, add in the unsalted butter on low speed for about 1 minute. Add in the ½ cup of sugar. Turn the speed up to medium low for a few minutes until nice and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Pour in egg yolk and vanilla and mix an additional minute.
Step 4: Add Dry Ingredients
Reduce speed to low and slowly pour in the flour and salt mixture.
Step 5: Combine Ingredients
Allow the cookie dough to mix on low speed until it comes together into a large dough ball.
Step 6: Roll dough into cookies
Take about a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. You should get between 15 to 16 cookies. Spread apart on two cookie sheets. These will bake in two batches.
Step 7: (Optional) Roll Cookies in Sugar
Roll each cookie ball in the remaining ⅛ cup of sugar. Cover the entire ball.
Step 8: Place thumbprints into the cookie
Using the palm of your hand, gently press down to flatten the cookie just a bit. Take your thumb and push down into the top of the cookie to create one half of the heart, then remove it and place it to the other side and push down to complete the heart shape.
Step 9: Fill thumbprints with jam & Bake.
Carefully fill each thumbprint with jam. Do not overfill. You want it just even or a little below full, so they don't spill out in the oven. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
If they come out a little messy looking, don't worry. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes and the dough will drop a little bit. You can add a little bit of jam to fix them as well. I like to transfer the cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
Enjoy these tasty little treats!
- Do not press too hard on the cookies to flatten them. You are basically just trying to take the ball shape and make it a thick disc, but not like a pancake. Keep them thick. When you press the thumb into the cookie, it will flatten even more.
- Do not overfill with jam or preserves. This could cause them to leak over the heart shape and ruin the cookies. Just fill it full or a little less than full. You can always add more after baking.
- Once you are finished mixing the dough, immediately roll them into balls and bake. If you plan on waiting, stick the dough in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- After the cookies are finished baking, avoid stacking them as the jam will get all over the other cookies.
- Bake on parchment paper or a Silpat mat to keep the bottoms from browning. I recommend Silpat baking mats for cookies. The mats distribute heat evenly and are absolutely phenomenal when baking cookies. I know they are the most expensive up front option, but they last for years. I have them linked in the recipe card below if you are interested.
It's important to roll the cookies into balls as soon as the dough finishes. If you are planning on letting the dough sit out before rolling, pop the dough in the fridge until you are ready. The dough may have got too warm.
No! Jelly is made from fruit juices and is strained with no chunks of fruit. Jam, on the other hand, is made from the actual fruit and is mixed with sugar and a thickening agent, like pectin. I've always thought of jam as-with chunks. These jam cookies must have jam or preserves for the thicker consistency.
Sure thing! Just push your thumb into the center of the cookie and push down once. All the other instructions stay the same.
Store the cookies in a tupperware container or individual sandwich bags. Avoid stacking the cookies, as the jam likes to spread onto the other cookies.
These thumbprint cookies can remain at room temperature and will stay fresh for up to 5 days. They are perfect to satisfy those sugar craving moments that come throughout the day. Please tell me I'm not the only one that gets them!