Thumbprint Cookies

The ultimate coffee cookie (along with Grandma Tess’ Pecan Crescents – I’ll post those next.) I remember my mother made these a lot when I was a kid, I think mostly because they aren’t very sweet and we didn’t like them back then. I’m so glad I have the recipe now, though. I’d post a photo of them but we ate all of the last batch already. I’ll have to remember to add one when I make them next. (Ha! Updated this post fast!)

For the first time, I made a vegan version of these and, as stated, they disappeared very quickly. I’ll include my substitutions in parentheses where they’re needed in case you want the option.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp (or, 6 fluid ounces. Butter in the U.S. is sold in a 1-pound box with 4 sticks, so each stick is 1/4 pound, or 4 ounces.)
    • [Substitute Earth Balance for a vegan option. You can only use the one in the square tub for baking – for some reason, although they do sell this in sticks, I haven’t been able to make those work. There are now other vegan butter options but I haven’t tried them. Because of my cow milk allergy, I use Earth Balance for everything.]
  • 1 large egg
    • [Did you know that you can substitute 1/4 cup veg oil for one egg? You can and I did and it was still perfect.]
  • 1/4 cup milk
    • [I used flax milk and it was also great. I think you could probably use any “milk.”]
  • Any fruit preserve.
    • Do not use jelly, which will just melt everywhere. Only use something called a “preserve.”
    • Also, fruit pectin in preserves is vegan, FYI.


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together
  2. Mix in the butter. Old school way: Use two butter knives, one in each hand, and use a cross-cut motion to “cut” the butter into the flour mixture. Or, just use a pastry mixer tool.
  3. Beat the egg (or oil) with the milk (or, “milk”) and then mix that combo into the flour mix with a fork.
  4. Once all combined, use your hands to roll the dough into 12-15 round balls. (Like making meatballs.) Use extra flour if it’s too sticky.

    dough balls that will become cookies
    Dough balls become cookies
  5. Then place them on a baking sheet – I like to line mine with parchment paper so the bottoms are nice and not overdone.
  6. Use your thumb to make a dent in the center of each ball on the tray. You can first touch your thumb to some flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough.

    Namesake: use your thumb to make dents in each ball
    Thumbprints in my cookies
  7. Fill each dent with about 1/2 teaspoon of preserves.
  8. Bake about 15 minutes (13-14 if you have smaller cookies) in 375-degree oven.

Start to finish, this should take about 20 minutes.



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