Grandma’s Thumbprint Cookies

This is a family recipe passed down from my grandmother “Pearl Alice” to my mother some 40 years ago. My mom made these cookies every year as part of her annual baking week at Christmas time. Mom used red and green icing to fill the cookies for the little ones in the family and jelly filling for the adults. She would store the cookies in a special cookie tin that my grandma used for many years for the exact same cookies. It became known as “Grandma’s Famous Cookie Tin” This is a very easy recipe that doesn’t require odd ingredients. So, of course, I decided I could tackle it when I began baking cookies 15 years ago. I still make this cookie every year for my neighbors and friends. I think of my grandma every moment that I’m making, baking and eating the cookies. My only daughter is now married and living in North Carolina. When she started baking cookies for Christmas last year for her new husband, this was the first recipe she requested. It will indeed be passed down to another generation.


  • Preparation Time: 00:30
  • Cook Time: 00:20
  • Cuisine: Swedish
  • Servings: 12


  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg white, unbeaten
  • ¾ cup crushed nuts (try walnuts, pecans, almonds or mixed)
  • Jelly (for filling)
  • Icing (for filling)


  • 1Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • 2Cream butter and sugar.
  • 3Add egg yolk.
  • 4Cream thoroughly and blend in flour.
  • 5Form small balls, dip in egg white and roll in nuts.
  • 6Place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and make slight indentation into each ball with spoon.
  • 7Bake 5 minutes then press centers down again.
  • 8Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • 9Remove from cookie sheet immediately and let cool.
  • 10Fill centers with jelly or icing when cooled.