I've seen a million recipes for thumbprint cookies, but these Strawberry Jam Cookies are seriously the best! The secret is vanilla sugar, which makes these cookies itty bitty flavor bombs!
These Strawberry Jam Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth vanilla bean thumbprint cookies filled with strawberry jam, then drizzled with vanilla bean glaze! So versatile and delicious, you'll find yourself making them for every occasion!
Here's everything you need to make these fantastic cookies! Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
Strawberry Jam Cookie Ingredients
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. I used all-purpose flour.
- Salt - Helps to balance and enhance the flavors of the cookies.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness. I use unsalted butter for better control over the amount of salt in the recipe. You want your butter to be at room temperature.
- Vanilla Sugar - For sweetness, flavor, and keeping the cookies soft and moist. I am smitten with the flavor of vanilla sugar, and just love the little flecks of vanilla bean in the cookies! To me, this is the little extra oomph that makes this recipe special. (You can make it yourself! Check out my "About Vanilla Sugar" section, below, for more details.)
- Egg Yolks - For moisture and richness. Using yolks only in this recipe makes the cookies super tender.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor. Vanilla bean paste is one of my favorite ingredients! If you prefer to substitute, just use an equal measure of vanilla extract instead.
- Strawberry Jam - They just wouldn't be thumbprint cookies without some goodness in the center! I used a homemade strawberry jam, but you can use jam or preserves in pretty much any flavor that strikes your fancy.
Vanilla Bean Glaze Ingredients
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness, and because it dissolves and gives the glaze a smooth texture. I sift my powdered sugar first to ensure the glaze isn't lumpy.
- Water - To thin the glaze to the appropriate consistency.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor. Again, if you'd rather substitute, just use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
Hint: If you're looking to use up the leftover egg whites from this recipe, my Almond Rolls with Cherry Glaze and my Raspberry Tartlets with Pistachio Crust each use two egg whites! They can also be frozen--just check my 25+ Recipes Using Egg Whites post for details on how!
About Vanilla Sugar
So what is vanilla sugar, anyway? Vanilla sugar is simply regular granulated sugar that has been infused/flavored with vanilla bean. Oh, and it's amazing.
Here's a step-by-step guide to show you how to make these cookies! Additional detail is provided in the recipe card, below.
Combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add egg yolks and vanilla bean paste and mix to combine.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is incorporated.
Portion dough into 1-tablespoon sized balls. Coat in vanilla sugar, if desired.
Make a small indentation in the center of each cookie. Chill cookies, then fill each with strawberry jam.
Bake, cool, then drizzle with vanilla bean glaze.
Hint: Because the dough is a little crumbly, it may feel like it's not coming together right away when you try to make the dough balls. Just roll them between your palms, and keep rolling. They will come together!
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Here are a few substitutions you can make if you don't have some of the recipe's ingredients on-hand or prefer to substitute:
- Instead of Vanilla Sugar- If you prefer not to use vanilla sugar, you can just substitute with an equal measure of regular granulated sugar.
- Instead of Vanilla Bean Paste- If you prefer not to use vanilla bean paste or don't have it on-hand, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Instead of Strawberry Jam- While the recipe is written for strawberry jam, you can pretty much use any flavor jam that you prefer! Vanilla is a versatile flavor and goes with most fruit flavors.
There's no special equipment required for this recipe, but here are a few things that I used to make life a little easier:
- Nonstick Parchment - I like using nonstick parchment on my pans to ensure no sticking and for easier cleanup.
- Cookie Scoop - I use a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon in volume) to portion out my cookie dough. Your hands will stay cleaner and your cookies will be more uniform in size/bake more evenly if you use a scoop.
This cookie dough can be frozen (already portioned into balls) in an airtight container for up to three months. You will need to thaw them to add the indentations and then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
The baked, cooled, and glazed cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, but they have the best texture in the first 2-3 days. Be sure to separate layers of cookies with parchment or wax paper so that they don't stick together.
Baked and cooled cookies can be well wrapped in an airtight container and frozen (with parchment or wax paper between layers of cookies) for up to three months. It's best to freeze them without the glaze, then add the glaze after they're thawed.
Yes! See my Homemade Vanilla Sugar recipe for more details.
Other Recipes You May Like
Strawberry Jam Cookies
Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies
- Line baking sheets with parchment (see note) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and ½ cup vanilla sugar (see note). Beat until light and fluffy, at least three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add egg yolks and vanilla bean paste (see note). Mix to combine.
- Gradually add the flour/salt mixture and mix until you don't see any more flour. The mixture will be a little crumbly and won't have formed a ball, and that's okay. Stopping the mixer when the ingredients are just combined will help keep the cookies tender.
- Portion the dough into 1-Tablespoon size balls (see note) and roll between your palms to make them round. Because the dough is a little crumbly, it may feel like it's not coming together right away. Just keep rolling and it will work!
- If desired, roll the dough balls in ¼ cup vanilla sugar to coat. This step is optional, but I liked the slight sparkle of the sugar and the black flecks of vanilla bean. It's also delicious!
- Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb/knuckle/back of a small measuring spoon (or whatever works for you), make a small indentation in the center of each cookie. Chill the cookies for 30 minutes (this will help them keep their shape when baking.)
- Once the cookies have chilled, preheat your oven to 375° F. Fill each indentation with the strawberry jam. If the jam is too difficult to work with, you may need to stir and/or heat the jam in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so you can pour or pipe the jam into the cookie.
- Bake cookies for 6-8 minutes, or until just barely golden on the bottoms (I usually bake a test cookie first to get the timing just right for the rest). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mix all glaze ingredients in a small bowl. If the glaze is too thin, you can add a little powdered sugar to thicken it. If too thick, add a small amount of water to thin to the desired consistency.
- Spoon or pipe the glaze over the cookies. Allow the glaze to set before serving.Enjoy!