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Savory Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies: Holiday Baking

Savory Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies: Holiday Baking
Home » Baking » Savory Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies: Holiday Baking

Cornmeal gives these cookies a whole-grain crunch, similar to a cornmeal biscuit. Adding the lime jelly (or other flavor of jelly or preserves) adds sweetness without the predominant sugary taste of many cookies.

These rustic, savory thumbprint cookies make a beautiful addition to the holiday cookie platter or a creative cookie to include in the holiday cookie swap.

Polenta Thumbprint cookies with lime jelly filling.
Polenta Thumbprint cookies with lime jelly filling.

Jump To: RECIPE | Other Thumbprint Recipes | Pair Cookies with Tea | Common Questions

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What is the Best Filling for Thumbprint Cookies?

I filled these savory thumbprints with lime marmalade, but of course, you can use any type of preserve you want in thumbprint cookies, which is why they are so wonderful. Please a variety of palates and make your cookie tray beautiful with any of the following flavors:

Pair Cookies with Your Favorite Tea

I always believe the best way to enjoy cookies is with a special cup of tea. My tea shop offers a variety of teas for you to sample. Enjoy!

herbal teas in cups with flowers strewn in front
Herbal Teas from Heathglen

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes! You can freeze the dough with the thumbprint indentation already made, or just freeze the dough in balls and make the indentations after they have thawed enough to allow the indent.

My dough cracks when I make the thumbprint. Is that OK?

It is quite normal for thumbprint cookies to have cracked edges and it actually can add to the rustic appeal. If you don’t like the cracks, smooth them out with your (warm) fingers.

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Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookes with Lime Jelly Filling

Polenta Thumbprint cookies with lime jelly filling.
These savory thumbprint cookies are made with polenta or cornmeal and then filled with lime marmalade. Hot pepper jelly would also make a great filling for these savory cookies.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 22 Small cookies
Calories 109


  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • ½ cup cornmeal polenta
  • ½ cup ground almonds I used sliced almonds and ground them in coffee grinder to a fine grind
  • ¼ cup lime marmalade or lime jelly


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Using stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until just combined.
    1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add flour, cornmeal and ground almonds, a little at a time, with the mixer turned on low.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • Using hands or small scoop (melon baller), make dough into balls and place on lined trays. Use your thumb to make a deep indent in center of each ball.
  • Bake each tray 20 minutes, or until cookies are golden underneath and pale on top (be careful not to overcook).  Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  • Fill with a small spoonful of lime jelly (or jelly of your choice).
    1/4 cup lime marmalade or lime jelly
  • Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days.


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Calories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 35mgPotassium: 40mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 129IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.5mg
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