Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie Recipe

Delicious Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie Recipe: A Perfect Blend of Butter, Jam, and Nutty Goodness

Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie

    Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Calories: 120 calories

About this recipe

Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies are delightful little treats that combine the classic flavors of buttery shortbread, crunchy nuts, and fruity jam.

These cookies are named after their distinct feature—a thumbprint indentation in the center that's filled with a sweet jam of your choice. They are a popular choice for dessert, tea parties, or any occasion where you want to enjoy a homemade, bite-sized treat.

To make these cookies, you'll start by creaming together softened butter and granulated sugar until they're light and fluffy. This step helps create a tender texture and adds a touch of sweetness. Then, you'll incorporate egg yolks and vanilla extract into the mixture, giving the cookies a rich, aromatic flavor.

Next, you'll combine all-purpose flour and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually adding this dry mixture to the wet ingredients will create a soft, pliable dough. Once the dough is ready, you'll roll it into small balls, about an inch in size.

Now comes the fun part—rolling the dough balls in finely chopped nuts. This step adds a delightful crunch and a nutty flavor to the cookies.

After the dough balls are coated in nuts, you'll place them on a baking sheet and make a little thumbprint indentation in the center of each cookie.

This indentation is what gives these cookies their name and serves as the perfect little nest for the jam. Choose your favorite fruit jam or preserves—raspberry, strawberry, or any other flavor you enjoy—and spoon a small amount into each thumbprint.

Now it's time to bake these little treats to golden perfection. The cookies will spend about 12 to 15 minutes in the oven, just until the edges turn a lovely golden brown. The result is a batch of aromatic, nutty cookies with a burst of fruity goodness in the center.

Once they're baked, let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This allows the cookies to set and ensures they maintain their shape.

With their buttery, nutty, and fruity flavors, Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies are a delightful combination of textures and tastes. Each bite is a little journey, starting with the buttery crunch of the shortbread-like exterior, leading to the nutty coating, and finally reaching the sweet and tangy jam center.

These cookies are versatile and can be enjoyed as a special treat or shared with loved ones during gatherings. They pair wonderfully with a cup of tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk.

Recipe origin and background

The exact origin of the Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe is unclear to me, as thumbprint cookies have been enjoyed in various forms across different cultures and regions for many years.

Thumbprint cookies, also known as Hallongrotta (Swedish for "raspberry cave"), have a Scandinavian influence and are believed to have originated in Sweden.

In Sweden, they are traditionally made with a shortbread-like dough, filled with raspberry or lingonberry jam, and often enjoyed during the Christmas season.

However, the name "thumbprint" comes from the technique used to create an indentation in the center of each cookie. This indentation is made by pressing a thumb or finger into the dough, creating a little well that is then filled with jam or preserves.

Over time, thumbprint cookies have gained popularity worldwide and have been adapted with various fillings, flavors, and nut coatings. Different regions and households have put their own unique spins on the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and flavors.

While the specific origins of the Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe may not be well-documented, it is a variation of the traditional thumbprint cookie that has been enjoyed and shared by many bakers.

The recipe likely bears the name "Kaufmann" as a nod to a particular baker or individual associated with the recipe, although the exact background of that name is unknown.

Regardless of its exact origins, thumbprint cookies have become a beloved and recognizable treat enjoyed by people around the world. They offer a delightful combination of flavors and textures that make them a timeless and delicious addition to any cookie collection.

Why try this Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe?

  1. Classic and Timeless: Thumbprint cookies have been enjoyed for generations, and this recipe brings a classic twist to the table. The combination of buttery shortbread, crunchy nuts, and fruity jam is a timeless flavor combination that never goes out of style.
  2. Simple and Easy: This recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for both experienced bakers and beginners. With just a few simple steps, you can create delicious homemade cookies without spending hours in the kitchen.
  3. Versatile and Customizable: Thumbprint cookies offer endless possibilities for customization. You can choose your favorite nut for the coating, whether it's almonds, walnuts, or any other variety. Additionally, you have the freedom to select your preferred fruit jam or preserves, allowing you to personalize the flavor profile to suit your taste.
  4. Perfect for Any Occasion: Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies are versatile and can be enjoyed on various occasions. Whether it's a holiday gathering, afternoon tea, cookie exchange, or a sweet treat for yourself, these cookies are always a hit. They also make fantastic gifts or party favors when packaged in pretty boxes or bags.
  5. Combination of Textures and Flavors: One of the highlights of these cookies is the delightful contrast of textures and flavors. The buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, the crispy nut coating, and the sweet, fruity jam center create a wonderful sensory experience with each bite.
  6. Crowd-Pleaser: These cookies have broad appeal and are loved by both kids and adults alike. Their bite-sized nature makes them easy to enjoy, and their irresistible flavors make them a favorite among cookie enthusiasts.
  7. Nostalgic Comfort: Thumbprint cookies often evoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Biting into one of these cookies can transport you back to fond childhood memories or create new ones with loved ones.

So, whether you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, bake something special for a gathering, or simply enjoy a homemade treat, the Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe is worth a try. It's a classic, versatile, and delicious option that is sure to impress and leave you with a batch of scrumptious cookies to enjoy.

What does Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie taste like?

The Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies offer a delightful combination of flavors that create a harmonious and satisfying taste experience.

Starting with the cookie base, which is akin to a buttery shortbread, you'll experience a rich, buttery flavor that melts in your mouth. The cookie has a delicate sweetness, balanced by the nutty coating that adds a subtle crunch and a hint of savory notes. The nuts, whether it's almonds or walnuts, provide a pleasant contrast to the tender texture of the cookie.

The highlight of the Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie is the burst of fruity flavor from the jam or preserves filling. The choice of fruit jam, such as raspberry or strawberry, adds a tangy and sweet element that complements the buttery cookie base. The jam brings a vibrant and refreshing taste, enhancing each bite with its luscious, fruity profile.

When you take a bite of the Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie, you'll experience a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The initial crunch from the nut coating gives way to the tender, buttery cookie, which then leads to the burst of fruity jam in the center.

The balance between the buttery, nutty, and fruity elements creates a well-rounded and satisfying taste that is both comforting and indulgent.

These cookies are not overly sweet, allowing the flavors of the butter, nuts, and jam to shine through. They offer a pleasant sweetness that is complemented by the natural tartness of the fruit jam, making them a delightful treat for those who appreciate a balance of flavors.

The taste of Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies can be described as buttery, nutty, lightly sweet, and fruity. Each bite is a delightful journey of textures and flavors, leaving you craving another cookie to savor the delicious combination.

What is in Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie?

  • Unsalted Butter: Butter adds richness and flavor to the cookies. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cookies and helps create a tender texture. It also aids in browning during baking.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the cookies, giving them a warm and aromatic note.
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour serves as the base ingredient and provides structure to the cookies. It gives them a tender crumb when baked.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavors in baked goods, balancing the sweetness and adding depth to the overall taste.
  • Almonds or Walnuts: These nuts are used for the coating on the outside of the cookies. They add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to each bite.
  • Fruit Jam or Preserves: Fruit jam or preserves are the filling for the thumbprint indentation in the cookies. Popular choices include raspberry, strawberry, or apricot. You can select your favorite flavor or experiment with different types of jam for variety.

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Mixing Bowl: A mixing bowl is used to combine the ingredients. A stainless steel or glass bowl is recommended. If you don't have a mixing bowl, you can use a large, deep saucepan or any clean, large bowl that can comfortably hold the ingredients.
  • Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer: An electric mixer or stand mixer makes it easier to cream the butter and sugar together. If you don't have a mixer, you can use a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula to cream the ingredients by hand. It may require a bit more effort and time, but it can be done.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring the ingredients. If you don't have measuring cups, you can use standard kitchen items for approximate measurements. For example, a standard mug can be used as a substitute for a 1-cup measuring cup, and a tablespoon can be used as a substitute for a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon.
  • Baking Sheet: A baking sheet is used to place the cookie dough balls for baking. If you don't have a baking sheet, you can use a regular sheet pan or even a flat oven-safe dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat: Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat prevents the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet and helps with easy removal. If you don't have either, you can lightly grease the baking sheet with cooking spray or a thin layer of butter.
  • Cooling Rack: A cooling rack allows the cookies to cool evenly and prevents them from becoming soggy on the bottom. If you don't have a cooling rack, you can transfer the cookies to a clean, heatproof surface like a countertop or a cutting board to cool.
  • Thumbprint Tool or Spoon: A thumbprint tool or the back of a round measuring spoon is used to create the indentation in each cookie. If you don't have a specific tool, you can use the round end of a wooden spoon or your thumb to make the indentations.

How to make Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie

Delightful Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe: Buttery, fruity, and nutty. Perfect for any occasion. Easy to make and utterly delicious.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup fruit jam or preserves (such as raspberry or strawberry)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well until fully combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
  5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the finely chopped nuts until coated.
  6. Place the nut-coated dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  8. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of fruit jam or preserves.
  9. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your delicious Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies!

How to serve Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie

  1. Plating: When serving Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies, you can arrange them on a decorative platter or a serving plate. Consider using a plate that complements the colors of the cookies and enhances their visual appeal.
  2. Garnish: To add an extra touch of elegance, you can garnish the plate with a dusting of powdered sugar. Simply sift a small amount of powdered sugar over the cookies just before serving. This adds a delicate and beautiful finish to the presentation.
  3. Pairing: Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies pair well with a variety of beverages. They are often served with a hot cup of tea, such as Earl Grey or herbal infusions, which complement the buttery and fruity flavors. Coffee, hot chocolate, or a glass of milk are also excellent choices. Consider offering a selection of beverages to accommodate different preferences.
  4. Accompaniments: While Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies are delicious on their own, you can enhance the serving experience by offering complementary accompaniments. Small bowls of fresh berries, such as raspberries or strawberries, can add a pop of color and freshness to the plate. Alternatively, a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream can provide a creamy and indulgent element that pairs well with the cookies.
  5. Presentation: When serving the cookies, you can encourage guests to try different flavors by offering a variety of jam fillings. Arrange the cookies on the plate, making sure the different flavors are easily distinguishable. If you have used multiple types of jams, you can create small labels or signs indicating the flavors, so guests can choose their favorite.
  6. Inform and Enjoy: If you have made any unique adaptations or incorporated special ingredients, consider informing your guests about them. This can spark conversations and add a personal touch to the serving experience. Encourage everyone to savor the flavors and enjoy the combination of textures in each bite.

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 784 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie, Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie Recipe, Recipe, Thumbprint cookies, Top rated

What to serve Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie with

  1. Hot Beverages: Thumbprint cookies go exceptionally well with hot beverages. Serve them alongside a selection of teas such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or herbal infusions like chamomile or peppermint. Coffee, hot chocolate, or warm spiced cider are also fantastic choices. The combination of the warm drink and the buttery, fruity cookies creates a comforting and satisfying treat.
  2. Cold Beverages: If you prefer a cold drink, thumbprint cookies can still be enjoyed. Serve them with a glass of cold milk, whether it's regular milk, almond milk, or your preferred non-dairy alternative. The creamy and slightly sweet taste of milk complements the flavors of the cookies. You can also serve them with iced tea, lemonade, or a refreshing fruit-infused water for a lighter and thirst-quenching option.
  3. Fresh Fruit: Adding a side of fresh fruit can provide a refreshing and healthy balance to the sweetness of the cookies. Sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a fruit salad made with seasonal fruits are excellent choices. The vibrant colors and natural sweetness of the fruit complement the flavors of the cookies and add a pop of freshness to the serving.
  4. Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: For an extra indulgent serving option, you can pair the thumbprint cookies with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creamy and velvety textures of the whipped cream or ice cream create a delightful contrast with the crunchy nuts and soft jam-filled centers of the cookies. This combination is perfect for those who enjoy a richer and more decadent dessert experience.
  5. Cheese Platter: If you're looking for a unique and savory pairing option, consider serving the thumbprint cookies alongside a cheese platter. Select a variety of cheeses, such as mild cheddar, creamy brie, or tangy goat cheese, and arrange them on a platter with some crackers or bread slices. The combination of the sweet cookies with the savory and creamy cheeses creates an interesting flavor contrast.

My recommendations and tips

  1. Follow the Recipe: While there's room for personalization, especially with the choice of nuts and jam flavors, it's a good idea to follow the recipe closely, especially if you're making thumbprint cookies for the first time. This ensures the right balance of ingredients and proper texture in the final result.
  2. Softened Butter: Make sure to use softened butter when creaming it with the sugar. Softened butter incorporates more easily with the other ingredients and creates a smoother texture in the dough. Take the butter out of the refrigerator in advance and let it soften at room temperature.
  3. Properly Measured Ingredients: Accurate measurements are crucial in baking. Use measuring cups and spoons specifically designed for dry and wet ingredients to ensure precise amounts. Level off the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) with a straight edge for accurate measurements.
  4. Gentle Dough Handling: When forming the dough into balls, handle it gently to avoid overworking it. Overworking the dough can result in tough cookies. Roll the dough into balls using the palms of your hands, applying gentle pressure.
  5. Evenly Sized Cookies: Try to make the dough balls as uniform in size as possible to ensure even baking. This helps all the cookies bake consistently and prevents some from being overdone while others are underdone.
  6. Indentation Technique: Use your thumb or the back of a round measuring spoon to create a well in the center of each cookie. Gently press down without going too deep to maintain the cookie's shape and prevent it from spreading excessively during baking.
  7. Filling the Thumbprint: Use a small spoon or a piping bag with a small round tip to fill the thumbprint indentation with jam or preserves. Be careful not to overfill the well, as the jam may spread during baking and overflow.
  8. Jam Selection: Choose jams or preserves with a slightly thicker consistency to prevent them from spreading too much during baking. If your favorite jam is runny, you can try stirring in a small amount of cornstarch to help thicken it slightly.
  9. Cooling and Storing: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven. This helps them set and firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container to maintain their freshness.
  10. Experiment and Enjoy: Thumbprint cookies offer endless possibilities for experimentation. Feel free to try different nut coatings, jam flavors, or even adding additional ingredients like chocolate chips or shredded coconut. Have fun with the recipe and enjoy the process of creating your own unique thumbprint cookie variations.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  • Butter: If you don't have unsalted butter, you can use salted butter and reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe. You can also substitute it with margarine or a plant-based butter substitute, keeping in mind that it may slightly alter the taste and texture of the cookies.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar can be substituted with an equal amount of brown sugar, coconut sugar, or even a sugar substitute like Stevia or Splenda. Keep in mind that using different sugars may affect the texture and taste of the cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you don't have vanilla extract, you can substitute it with an equal amount of other extracts, such as almond extract, maple extract, or even a few drops of your preferred flavored essence. Each substitution will lend a unique taste to the cookies, so choose based on your preference.
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour can often be replaced with alternative flours, such as whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free flour blends, if you have specific dietary requirements. Keep in mind that different flours may result in slightly different textures and flavors.
  • Nuts: If you have a nut allergy or prefer not to use nuts, you can omit the nut coating entirely. Alternatively, you can replace the nuts with other crushed or ground ingredients, such as shredded coconut, crushed graham crackers, or even finely chopped chocolate.
  • Fruit Jam or Preserves: The fruit jam or preserves in the thumbprint filling can be substituted with other sweet spreads, such as chocolate-hazelnut spread (e.g., Nutella), caramel sauce, or even lemon curd. Get creative and use your favorite flavors to personalize the cookies.

What more?

  • Storage: Once the cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for several days. If you live in a humid climate, you can place a piece of bread in the container to help maintain the cookies' softness.
  • Freezing: Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies can be frozen for longer storage. Place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, separating the layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature before serving.
  • Jam Filling Variations: While traditional thumbprint cookies often use fruit jam, you can get creative with different fillings. Consider using other spreads like Nutella, peanut butter, or even homemade fruit compotes for unique flavor combinations.
  • Customization: Thumbprint cookies are highly customizable. You can experiment with different types of nuts for the coating, such as pecans, pistachios, or even crushed cookies. Additionally, you can add a sprinkle of powdered sugar, drizzle melted chocolate on top, or even insert a small piece of chocolate in the thumbprint indentation for added indulgence.
  • Gift Ideas: Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookies make wonderful homemade gifts for friends and family. Consider packaging them in a decorative tin or a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon. You can also include a handwritten note with the different flavors or the recipe itself.
  • Recipe Scaling: If you need to make a larger or smaller batch of cookies, you can easily scale the recipe accordingly. Use simple math to adjust the ingredient quantities while maintaining the same proportions.


In conclusion, this Kaufmann Thumbprint Cookie recipe is a must-try! With its buttery texture, fruity jam filling, and nutty coating, it's a treat that will satisfy your sweet cravings. Enjoy baking and indulging in these delightful cookies for a truly memorable experience.

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