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Thumbprint Cookies with a Lemon Filling

Thumbprint Cookies with a Lemon Filling
Home » Cooking Techniques » Baking » Thumbprint Cookies with a Lemon Filling

These shortbread thumbprint cookies are filled with a bright, citrusy lemon filling and then dusted with powdered sugar. The lemon filling can be store-bought lemon curd, lemon marmalade or even an orange jelly. The shortbread cookie part is easier than making a pie crust, so they come together quickly for holiday gatherings.

Jump to: RECIPE | Ingredients and Substitutions | More Flavors of Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies with lemon marmalade filling on a white plate.
Thumbprint cookies with lemon marmalade filling

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This recipe uses a simple shortbread thumbprint cookie base and is filled with a citrus preserve. I’m serving them at Christmas this year with 5 other flavors of thumbprint cookies on a fancy tray.

These cookies would work on a dessert platter, for snacking throughout the holidays or to send to loved ones in a care package, along with some holiday Pfeffernusse cookies

Tray of 5 different varieties of thumbprint cookies.
Tray of 6 different varieties of thumbprint cookies.

Basic Process for Lemon Filled Thumbprint Cookies

Step 1: Mix together ingredients for the cookie dough in a stand mixer

Adding thumbprint cookie dough ingredients to a stand mixer.
Adding thumbprint cookie dough ingredients to a stand mixer.

Step 2. Scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet and use a spoon to make an indentation for the filling

Using a spoon to make an indentation in thumbprint cookies before baking.
Using a spoon to make an indentation in thumbprint cookies before baking.

Step 3: Cool cookies on a rack after baking and fill with lemon filling after they are cooled.

Thumbprint cookies on a baking rack filled with lemon jelly after they were cooled.
Lemon-filled thumbprint cookies on a baking rack

*Pro Tip: Make sure your cookie dough is well chilled before filling and baking. This helps make sure that the cookies don’t spread too much making the filling drip over the edges.

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 wonderful. Please a variety of palates and make your cookie tray beautiful with any of the following flavors:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can these cookies be frozen?

The shortbread cookies and be frozen without the filling in an airtight container for up to 1 month. When ready to eat, let them thaw out on the counter for about an hour and then fill with the lemon filling.

Recipe for Lemon Filled Thumbprint Cookies

Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Filling

Thumbprint cookies with lemon marmalade filling on a white plate.
These classic shortbread thumbprint cookies have a background of citrus and are filled with a lemon jelly or lemon curd and then dusted with powdered sugar. Very pretty on a platter of holiday cookies.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 48 Cookies
Calories 43

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup lemon ginger marmalade or purchased lemon curd or lemon jelly

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
    Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.
    2 sticks, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 large egg yolks, 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.
    Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball.
    Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely (you may want to push down the puffed up indentation a bit at this point).
  • Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of lemon preserves.
    1/2 cup lemon ginger marmalade

Notes

Pro Tip: Make sure your cookie dough is well chilled before filling and baking. This helps make sure that the cookies don’t spread too much making the filling drip over the edges.

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.005gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 20mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.3mg
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