Thumbprint cookies are one of the easiest cookies to make along with being one of most flexible and festive. Change out the chocolate sprinkles for a different color and change out the filling to your favorite preserve and poof, you have thumbprint cookies that will match any holiday. These are filled with nutella and with dulce de leche for our Christmas cookie tray. The simple, pillowy soft dough remains the same no matter which filling you use.Jump to Recipe
Pro Tip: You do need to chill these cookies for 2 hours before rolling them in sprinkles.
What is the Best Filling for Thumbprint Cookies?
Of course you can use any type of preserve you want in thumbprint cookies, which is why they are so wonderfully flexible. Please a variety of palates and make your cookie tray beautiful with any of the following flavors:
- Lemon (or citrus) Filled Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
- Savory Thumbprint with Hot Pepper Jellies
- Ginger-Spiced Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
- Savory Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Marmalade
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Choocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies with Nutella or dulce de leche
For the Cookies
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Chocolate sprinkles A small bowl for garnishing
For the Filling
- ½ cup Nutella or Dulce le leche (directions for dulce le leche in the notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.2½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt
- Using an stand mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat over low speed until a dough forms (about one more minute)1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Scoop out a tablespoon of dough with an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and roll it into a ball. Roll each dough ball into the chocolate sprinkles and place on the baking sheet, at least 1” apart.Make a slight indentation with your finger or the back of a spoon in the center of all the cookies. Do not push the indentation all the way to the bottom of the dough ball. Don’t worry if the dough cracks a bit.Bake for 10 minutes, then make a deeper indentation in the middle, and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes. The cookies will be light in color rather than golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.Chocolate sprinkles
- Once the cookies are cool, spoon in some nutella or dulce de leche filling (directions for dulce de leche in notes section)1/2 cup Nutella
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Pour one can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a baking dish, the size of which will fit into a larger roasting pan. Add a pinch of salt.
- Set the baking dish inside the roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water about halfway up the side of the baking dish.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Check after 1 hour to see if the milk is light brown and caramelized, and give it a little more time if needed, in 10 minute increments.
- Remove from oven and let cool. After it is thoroughly cooled, whisk the Dulce de Leche until smooth.
- Store in refrigerator and warm it up slightly before using.