Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam

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Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam are super soft buttery cookies flavored with vanilla and almond. The cute heart centers are filled with your favorite jam and they make the perfect sweet bite.

heart jam cookies on a plate and on wire cooling rack.
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Are you looking for more delicious Italian cookie recipes? Here are a few to get you started- Classic Italian Almond Biscotti Recipe (Cantucci), Soft Amaretti Cookies (Italian Recipe), Lemon Ricotta Cookies (Italian Recipe), Homemade Italian Ladyfinger Recipe (Savoiardi), Italian Pignoli Cookies Recipe (pine nut), Italian Fig Cookies Recipe (Cucidati), and Italian Wedding Cookies Recipe.

Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam

These cookies are easy and fun to make any time of year. You can make heart jam cookies to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make more traditional (non-heart shaped) thumbprint cookies for the holiday season, or an everyday sweet treat. They make a perfect pair for a cup of tea or a glass of milk.

In Italy, you will find these types of cookies all year round in specialty bakeries. They are filled with sweet homemade jams, dusted with powdered sugar, or rolled in crushed almonds to give a crunchy exterior texture.

For these cookies, I am keeping it simple and using a simple butter dough without the addition of nuts. You can roll in chopped nuts if desired.

If you are looking for a more American-style sugar cookie with buttercream frosting you will love these Best Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe (with frosting). And if you’re craving something Italian, you will also enjoy these Pizzelle Cookies and Italian Rainbow Cookies!

More fun heart-shaped foods: Sweet Focaccia with Raspberries and Balsamic Glaze and Best Mini Pies- Valentine’s Day Treat.

heart shaped cookies on a ruffled cake plate platter.

Simple Ingredients

There aren’t many ingredients in this easy thumbprint cookies recipe, so it’s important to use high-quality products. I prefer to use European butter for extra flavor in all our pie and cookie recipes. You likely have all of these other basic ingredients on hand to make the cookies.

ingredient shot for recipe
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Butter softened
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Eggs*, room temperature
  • Raspberry jam, strawberry jam, or fig jam (any flavor of jam you like)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

See the recipe card for quantities and the full recipe.

*Note: many butter cookie recipes will only use an egg yolk and then add milk or cornstarch to help the cookie consistency.

I prefer to use the whole egg since the egg white provides added liquid and is a natural binder. I like the taste better as well.

What are Thumbprint Cookies?

The cookie base for thumbprint cookies is made from butter, sugar, egg and flour. The jam can range from strawberry jam to marmalade, or homemade fruit preserves. They are similar to Linzer cookies and are super soft buttery cookies.

Thumbprint cookies get their name by making an indent with your thumb in the middle of the cookie to then fill it with jam.

heart shaped cookie dough balls. Thumb pressing into ball to make heart shape.

You can make the cookies round and do a single indent to fill them with jam, or make them heart-shaped like this thumbprint cookie recipe. Don’t worry about making them perfect (mine aren’t) enjoy the process of making them and the scrumptious taste when they are finished.

You will see many varieties of Pinterest heart cookies as they are popular and loved by all. I know you will love these and they will be your new favorite cookie recipe.

How to Make Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam (step-by-step with photos)

The butter cookie dough comes together in a little time with the use of an electric mixer or stand mixer. For these heart butter cookies recipe, we use basically the same dough as the Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style).

whipping the butter and sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie trays with parchment.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer.

adding the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.

Add the eggs on low speed, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla extract and almond extract, then mix on medium speed until well combined.

cream the wet ingredients. process shot.

Sift in the dry ingredients. The dough will be very sticky from the butter. That is normal.

dough in a mixing bowl with rubber spatula.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerating the dough will make it easier to work with and it will help it from spreading during baking.

process of making cookies into balls.
process of making heart thumb prints.

Divide the dough into 24 even pieces, then roll each into a small ball. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, staggering the rows of cookies and leaving about 1½ inches between each one.

filling cookies with jam before baking them.

Add a little jam in the center of each cookie to fill the heart shape.

Transfer the trays to the oven and bake cookies until lightly golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

Use your thumb or a finger to gently press into each of the cookie dough balls diagonally toward the left side, then rotate your finger to press again on toward the right side, making a small heart shape.

thumbprint cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Take out of the oven, let cool on a cooling rack, and dust the top of the cookie with powdered sugar (if desired) before serving. Enjoy these cute jam heart cookies with love!

Shape Variations Thumbprint Cookies

In addition to the cute heart-shaped thumbprint cookies, you can simplify by making a simple thumbprint indent. These make round cookies with a round jam filling.

round shaped thumb print cookies.

Baking and Making tools

You don’t need any special equipment to make these cookies. A stand mixer, or hand mixer will do. If you have a cookie scoop that works well to make the cookies the same size. If not, just use a spoon!

*may contain affiliate links.

Storage for Jam Thumbprints Cookies

These heart jam cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week

Top Tips for Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Use room ingredients

Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) for the butter cookies ensures a soft and uniform cookie dough. They will also bake more evenly this way. This will make the best heart-shaped jam cookies.

Chill cookie dough before baking

Make sure to chill the butter cookie dough before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape and don’t spread while baking.

Do not over-bake

You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t get too brown. I baked them for about 10-11 minutes to achieve a very soft, light golden brown on the edge. That way, they stay nice and soft. This is key to achieving the beautiful thumbprint cookie look and taste. These cookies are super tender and delicious.

heart shaped thumbprint cookies cut in half to show soft interior.

Thumbprint Cookie FAQs

Do you fill thumbprint cookies before or after baking?

Thumbprint cookies should be filled before baking. The jam will set as it bakes with the cookies making for the perfect bite when they are finished.  

Why are there cracks in my thumbprint cookies?

Thumbprint cookies can crack and that is okay, they will still taste delicious. An important tip to keep in mind is to make sure the cookie dough ball is perfectly smooth on the outside before gently pressing with your thumb to make the indent. Pressing too hard when making the thumbprint on the cookie can also cause the dough to crack if it wasn’t rolled into a smooth ball.

heart shaped cookies on a ruffled cake plate platter.

Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam are fun to make and delicious to eat. I hope you love making and eating them as much as we do.

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

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Heart Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam

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4.9 from 13 reviews

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe with Jam (heart-shaped) are super soft buttery cookies flavored with vanilla and almond. The cute heart centers are filled with your favorite jam and they make the perfect sweet bite.

  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam (for filling cookies)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie trays, or baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  3. Add the eggs on low speed, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts, then mix on medium speed until well combined, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Slowly add the flour to the mixture and mix until a dough forms. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until a semi-soft, sticky dough is formed. Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Grease hands with a bit of oil. Divide the dough into 24 even pieces, then roll each into a ball. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, staggering the rows of cookies and leaving about 1½ inches between each one. Grease your hands again and gently press your thumb or index finger into the dough diagonally toward the left side, then rotate your finger to press again toward the right side, making a heart shape. Fill the indents with your favorite jam.
  6. Transfer the trays to the oven and bake until lightly golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven, cool them on a cooling rack, and dust them with powdered sugar (if desired). Enjoy with love!

Notes

Tips

Use room ingredients

Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) for the butter cookies ensures a soft and uniform cookie dough. They will also bake more evenly this way.

Chill cookie dough before baking

Make sure to chill the butter cookie dough before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape and don’t spread while baking.

Do not over-bake

You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t get too brown. I baked them for about 10-11 minutes to achieve a soft, light golden brown on edge. That way, they stay nice and soft. This is key to achieving the beautiful thumbprint cookie look ad taste.

Storage

  • These heart jam cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week
  • Author: Elena
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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27 Comments

  1. I made these for my daughter’s 7th birthday party. We did a cute tea party theme and they were a hit! So perfect and tastes amazing!






  2. I adore this recipe and have done lots of fun variations for filling. Elena, you are the best! I just adore you! Blueberry, apricot, lemon curd… they are all great and I’m obsessed with the almond flavor! XOXO






  3. Love these! I think my dough could have chilled a bit longer…but they are delicious and cute! Thanks for sharing!






    1. You are welcome! Yes, sometimes it depends on what kind of butter you use (and the butter fat content) for how long you chill! Happy you loved them.

  4. Super easy to make and delicious. I would for our taste do 3/4 tsp of almond extract as strong flavor. Love the ease of being able to make something fancy and yummy in a short amount of time. Easy to have kids help you make too.