Thumbprint Cookies


Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

Looking like the bright buttons on a Hussar’s uniform, these melt-in-your-mouth treats can be filled with a variety of preserves to add color to your cookie selection. Apricot, raspberry, strawberry, or even pineapple are all good choices. Most versions call for filling the cookies after baking, but the sticky preserves make the cookies difficult to store. Filling them about halfway through the baking period sets the preserves and solves the problem.


  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sifting
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups coarsely chopped walnuts or toasted, peeled hazelnuts
  • cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup fruit preserves


  1. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter with an electric handheld mixer on high speed just until smooth. On low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar, just to combine. Beat in the yolks and vanilla.
  3. Process the nuts with ½ cup of the flour until the nuts are ground into a powder. Add the remaining 1 cup flour and the salt and pulse to combine. Add the nut flour to the butter mixture and stir to make a stiff dough.
  4. Using a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie, roll into walnut-size balls and place 1 inch apart on the sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon or your little finger, make a ¼-inch deep indentation in the center of each cookie.
  5. Bake until the cookies are set, about 12 minutes. Remove the sheets of cookies from the oven. Place the preserves in a large plastic storage bag. Squeeze the preserves into the corner of the bag, and snip off the corner with scissors to make a ½-inch-wide opening. Pipe the preserves into the indentations in the cookies. Return to the oven, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom, and continue baking until the cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Before serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over the cookies.

Part of