When I think about Christmas cookies, these holiday jamboree cookies (also known as thumbprint cookies) always come to mind! As a kid I can remember my Grammy making these, my Mom, and a slew of other relatives and people from our church. They're easy to make and you can pick pretty much any jam or jelly you'd like for the center!
where did the thumbprint cookie come from?
According to the interwebs there is much dispute over the origin. The thumbprint cookie is believed to have come from either Sweden, Poland, or from the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. Thumbprint cookies also go by the name of Hallongrotta (in Sweden), butter balls, birds nest cookies, and of course, jamboree cookies. No matter where they came from or what you call them, one thing is for certain—they're very good!
To make the center dent, you can use your thumb or a small spoon that's dipped in some cold water. This will help keep the dough from sticking to you or the spoon!
how to make holiday jamboree cookies
Holiday Jamboree Cookies (or Thumbprint Cookies) come together pretty quickly, but I will tell you that it is recommended you refrigerate the dough overnight. If that's not an option, give the dough at least 3 hours to chill. Chilling the jamboree cookie dough will make it much easier to roll into the balls and make the little center dent where the jam or jelly will go.
This recipe has very few ingredients...flour, salt, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and jam/jelly. That's it. Mix together the butter and sugar, and then add in the eggs and vanilla. Blend everything together by adding the flour and salt mixture. When the dough has chilled, roll it into balls and place them about 2" apart on the cookie sheet. To make the center dent, you can use your thumb or a small spoon that's dipped in some cold water. This will help keep the dough from sticking to you or the spoon!
For the jam or jelly center, what flavor you use is totally your call! I used strawberry because strawberry is my favorite. To make the filling process easier, I used a piping bag and just cut the tip off at the bottom. Easy peasy. For toppings, I used sparkling sugar and some of my favorite Truly Mad Plastics edible gold dust, but feel free to also try out either chopped pecans or walnuts!
consider making these other beyond the butter holiday favorites!
- hot chocolate mini marshmallow cookies
- chocolate thumbprint cookies
- classic peanut butter blossoms
- super soft chocolate chip cookies
- double chocolate salted caramel cookies
Holliday Jamboree CookiesAuthor:
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- Small jar of strawberry preserves, or whatever jam or jelly you prefer!
- Piping bag, optional, but helpful for piping the jam or jelly into the center of the cookie
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy in texture.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Switching the mixer speed to low, gradually add in the whisked dry mixture until just combined.
- Cover the top of the cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Overnight is even better.
- When ready to bake, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position (just above center) and preheat your oven to 375ºF.
- Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a spoon or a 1 ½ tablespoon-size cookie scoop, roll the cookie dough into balls and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Using your thumb or a spoon, dip in cold water (to avoid the dough sticking to you or the spoons) and make a dent in center of each cookie. Fill dent with jam or jelly of your choosing using a spoon or a piping bag with the tip cut off. Optional: Sprinkle tops with sparkling sugar or chopped walnuts or pecans (I opted for just the sparking sugar with a touch of edible gold dust cause I'm fancy like that).
- Bake at 375ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies should have a very light golden brown color to them. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.