Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

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Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints are a classic, mouth-watering treat that combines the richness of buttery shortbread with the sweet tang of raspberry jam. Topped with a delicate drizzle of almond-flavored glaze, these cookies are as beautiful as they are delicious.

They’re perfect for any occasion, from a cozy family tea time to an elegant dessert at a dinner party. The combination of flavors will delight your taste buds, and the charming thumbprint design is sure to impress your guests. These cookies are not just a treat; they’re a delightful experience.

Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints Recipe


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together.
  3. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with jam.
  4. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and water until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 18 minutes | Total Time: 38 minutes

Kcal: 85 kcal per cookie | Servings: 24 cookies

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Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints FAQS

How do you keep thumbprint cookies from cracking?

To prevent thumbprint cookies from cracking, there are several key steps to follow:

  1. Proper Dough Consistency: Ensure your dough has the right balance of moisture. If it’s too dry, it’s more likely to crack. Adding a bit more butter or a small amount of liquid (like milk or water) can help.
  2. Avoid Overworking the Dough: Over-mixing the dough can develop the gluten too much, leading to a tougher, more crack-prone dough. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your butter and eggs (if used) are at room temperature. This helps the dough to mix more evenly.
  4. Gentle Shaping: When forming the cookies, be gentle. Over-handling can cause cracks.
  5. Making the Thumbprint: Instead of pressing down too hard with your thumb, which can cause the edges to crack, press gently and gradually. You can also use a small spoon or melon baller to make a more uniform indentation.

Why do my thumbprint cookies spread so much?

Thumbprint cookies might spread excessively due to:

  1. Butter Temperature: If the butter is too warm (like if it’s melted), it can cause the cookies to spread. Butter should be soft but still hold its shape.
  2. Excess Sugar: Too much sugar can lead to spreading, as sugar melts during baking.
  3. Incorrect Flour Measurement: Not using enough flour can cause cookies to spread. Be sure to measure flour correctly, using the spoon-and-level method rather than scooping it.
  4. Oven Temperature: If the oven isn’t hot enough, it can cause spreading. Make sure it’s properly preheated.

What is the history of raspberry thumbprint cookies?

Raspberry thumbprint cookies, part of the larger family of thumbprint cookies, have a rich history:

  • Origin: Thumbprint cookies are believed to have originated in Eastern Europe. Variations exist in many countries, including Sweden (known as Hallongrotta, meaning “raspberry cave”).
  • Evolution: The concept of these cookies, which involves pressing a small well into the dough before baking and filling it with jam, has been adopted and adapted globally.
  • Popularity: They became popular in the United States and other countries, especially during the holidays, for their simple yet versatile recipe and the delightful combination of buttery cookie and sweet jam.

How long will shortbread keep?

Shortbread cookies, when stored properly, have a relatively long shelf life:

  • Room Temperature: In an airtight container, they can last up to 2 weeks at room temperature.
  • Refrigeration: If you choose to refrigerate them, they can last a bit longer, though it’s not necessary unless they contain a perishable filling.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, you can freeze shortbread cookies. In a freezer-safe container, they can last up to 3 months. To thaw, let them sit at room temperature.

These tips and historical insights should help you get the most out of your baking experience with thumbprint cookies!

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