mid December- aka smack in the middle of cookie season! if you haven’t baked a batch of festive cookies, make these almond rye thumbprint cookies your first. if you have baked batch after batch, make these for someone you love! seriously though, this year has been filled with so much. if baking and eating (or sharing) a few dozen buttery cookies filled with sweet jam makes you happy, you should absolutely make these.
what I love about these cookies
aside from the obvious (hello, cookies!!), I love:
- they’re simple to make
- super buttery
- slightly chewy
- balanced with some light earthiness (thanks, rye)
- textured (think sugar coating and ground almonds)
- filled with tart jam
- makes about 30 perfect cookies (share or not, I won’t tell)
short and sweet ingredient list
I can almost guarantee you have nearly everything you need to make these almond rye thumbprint cookies. but if not, you’ll need:
- medium rye flour
- all purpose flour
- almond flour
- unsalted butter
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- fruit jam or preserves of choice ( I love this one)
- powdered sugar for topping, optional
thankfully these cookies are pretty easy to make without anything fancy. these are the tools you’ll need:
- electric hand mixer with beaters OR
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- small plate or baking sheet
- to chill cookies
- (2) large baking sheets
- for baking 2-3 batches of cookies
- wine cork or your thumb
- to make the wells for the jam
- parchment paper
- 1/4 tsp measuring spoon
- super easy way to scoop the jam into the cookies
- mesh stainer
- for dusting powdered sugar, optional!
cookie tips + tricks
recommended substitutes for this recipe:
- rye flour: has a strong, earthy taste. it can be a little difficult to find medium or light rye. while, dark rye is much more accessible. if this is the case, or you simply don’t like the taste of rye, I recommend using 3/4 c + 2 tbsp (105g) of all purpose flour in it’s place.
- almond flour: I LOVE the taste of almond for these cookies. however, in a pinch you can sub this with 3/4 c all purpose flour (90g).
- raspberry jam or preserves: use any tart and sweet jam or preserves. I think strawberry, lingonberry, cranberry or even a lovely lemon curd would be delicious here.
tips + tricks for this recipe:
- cold butter: work though this slowly. the butter will soften as it is whipped around the bowl
- scrape the sides and paddle (or beaters) often
- the butter will soften and stick more to the sides vs the paddle when it is ready
- wine cork: handy and super fun to use to make the wells
- you can also use your thumb
- chill time: prevents the cookies from spreading
- freezer: chill cookies in the freezer the first time
- fridge: chill cookies in the fridge in between baking batches
- 1/4 tsp measuring spoon: scoops the perfect amount of jam into the cookies
- thick jam: scoop out about 1/3-1/2 c into a bowl. heat in the microwave for about 10 seconds
- cookies are set when the edges turn a light golden brown
- cool cookies on the hot baking sheet for no more than 3-4 minutes
- store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days (if they last that long!)
looking for more delicious cookies? check these out!
- chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies
- tahini and halva chocolate chip cookies
- blood orange chocolate chip cookies
- Meyer lemon sugar cookies
almond rye thumbprint cookies
- stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- 1 tbsp cookie scoop
- wine cork (or your thumb)
- 1/4 tsp measuring spoon
- 1 c (106g) medium or light rye flour sub with 3/4 c + 2 tbsp all purpose flour)
- 3/4 c + 2 tbsp (105g) all purpose flour
- 1 c (96g) almond flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c (226g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 c (100g) superfine or granulated sugar
- 1/2 c (100g) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/3 c (76g) granulated sugar to coat cookies, optional
- 1/3-1/2 c raspberry or preferred jam or preserves
- Whisk the flours and salt in a seperate mixing bowl. Set aside. Line a small baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the cold, cubed butter in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat the butter on low-medium speed until smooth. Scrape the butter from the paddle and sides of the bowl often to encourage an even texture.
- Add the sugar to the smoothed butter Start on low-medium speed while adding ther sugar. Increase speed to medium- high. Beat the sugar and butter are smooth and well combined, about 1 minute.On low speed, beat in the egg yolk and extracts.
- On lowest speed, add in 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet. When the dough comes together, add the next 1/4. Scrape the botttom and sides as needed. Tip: after mixing in the last 1/4 of the dry ingredients, use a spatula to fully mix in any crumbles at the bottom of the bowl.
- Using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough. Roll the dough in between your hands to form the cookie dough balls. Place the cookie balls on the parchment line baking sheet (or plate). Using a wine cork or your thumb, press down to create a well. Be careful not to push all the way to the bottom. Press about half way down. Repeat for all the remaining dough. Cookies can be placed next to eachother since you will not bake the cookies from this cookie sheet (or plate).Place the cookies in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven right after placing the cookies in the freezer. It needs 15-20 minutes to fully preheat.
- Line a larger baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. If coating the cookies in sugar, pour the sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. If the jam isn't easily scooped, measure it out into another bowl and warm in it the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Remove the cookies from the freezer.
- Dip the tops and sides of the cookies in the sugar (if you're doing this step, it's optional). Place the cookies 2" apart on a cookie sheet. Depending on the size of the baking sheet, you can get about 12 per cookie sheet. Using a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon, add the jam into the cookie wells (thumbprints). Place the rest of the cookies in the fridge while the first batch bakes. Repeat as often as needed to bake all the cookies. Alernatively, place the cookies in the freezer for 45 minutes. Remove, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer proof container to store for another time.
- Bake the cookies one cookie sheet at a time in a 350F oven for 12-16 minutes. When the edges are beginning to turn a light brown, they're done. Remove the cookies from the oven to rest on the hot baking sheet placed on top of a cooling rack for 3-4 minutes. Carefully move the cookies from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
- If desired, dust with a light coating of powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!