cookies/ holiday treats

Holiday Jamboree Cookies

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!

Holiday Jamboree Cookies - jamboree cookies on a plate

These Holiday Jamboree Cookies (also known as Thumbprint Cookies) are so easy to make and you can choose to use any jam or jelly 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!

Holiday Jamboree Cookies

Pin these now and make them for your next holiday party!

baking tip

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!


Holiday Jamboree Cookies - jamboree cookies being sprinkled with gold using a brush

Go ahead and get a little fancy with decorative toppings! You can top these cookies with sparking sugar, chopped pecans or walnuts, or edible gold dust (like I did).

Holiday Jamboree Cookies


consider making these other beyond the butter holiday favorites!

Holiday Jamboree Cookies - jamboree cookies on a plate

holiday jamboree cookies

  • Author: Jennifer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (does not include chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 7-8 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert


These Holiday Jamboree Cookies (also known as Thumbprint Cookies) are so easy to make and you can choose to use any jam or jelly for the center! Make them for your next holiday work party, book or wine club night, or for Santa because I hear he likes them!



  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/4 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)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time and vanilla.
  4. Switching the mixer speed to low, add in the dry mixture 1 cup at a time until completely combined.
  5. Cover the top of the cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap or alternative and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Overnight is even better.
  6. When ready to bake, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position and pre-heat your oven to 375ºF.
  7. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.
  8. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop (1/2″), roll the cookie dough into balls and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet.
  9. Using your thumb or a spoon, dip in cold water (to avid 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 (I used strawberry jam) 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).
  10. 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.

Keywords: jamboree cookies, thumbprint cookies, holiday jamboree cookies, holiday thumbprint cookies, holiday cookies, christmas cookies, jam-filled thumbprint cookies

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