19 Festive Ways to Make Thumbprint Cookies This Christmas

Coconut Thumbprints
Photo: Iain Bagwell

The Christmas season sees its share of bite-sized treats, from fudgy bourbon balls to crunchy nut brittle to spiced sugar cookies. There are too many occasions to count, from Thanksgiving through the New Year, that call for these holiday treats. Need something festive but simple? That's when you can turn to our easy thumbprint cookies. To start, thumbprint cookies come in so many cheery forms. Some are tender and shortbread-like, filled with dollops of traditional raspberry jam. Others are chewy and chocolatey, topped with gooey caramel and flaky sea salt, even making use of Hershey's kisses and peppermint sprinkles. What's more, Christmas thumbprint cookies are so festive they're practically begging to be doled out as food gifts, bagged for the cookie swap, or served at the holiday party. Read on for the best thumbprint cookies to make this season.

01 of 19

Red Velvet Thumbprints

Red Velvet Thumbprints
Hector Sanchez

The jolly man in red would approve of these cheery cookies. Red velvet thumbprints couldn't ask for a better topping than this white chocolate-cream cheese mixture.

02 of 19

Nutty Chocolate Thumbprints

Nutty Chocolate Thumbprints
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Nutty Chocolate Thumbprints

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! These thumbprint cookies turn chocolate and peanut butter into little bites of holiday heaven.

03 of 19

Raspberry Jam Thumbprints

Coconut Thumbprints
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Raspberry Jam Thumbprints

Drizzled with creamy white chocolate, these raspberry thumbprint cookies are always welcome on the Christmas party spread. The classic shortbread-like cookies are topped with fruity pockets of jam.

04 of 19

Chocolate Ganache Thumbprints with Crushed Peppermints

Coconut Thumbprints
Iain Bagwell

This rich chocolate ganache is just what Santa put on his list. Crushed peppermints make the crunchiest, cheeriest holiday topper.

05 of 19

Coconut Thumbprints with Dulce de Leche

Coconut Thumbprints
Iain Bagwell

Coconut and dulce de leche make a festive duo. Watch these thumbprints disappear. Fast.

06 of 19

Chocolate Thumbprints with Caramel and Sea Salt

Chocolate Thumbprints with Caramel and Sea Salt
Erin Kunkel; Styling: Kelly Allen

Recipe: Chocolate Thumbprints with Caramel and Sea Salt

Looking for a cookie swap winner? These chocolate thumbprints are topped with gooey caramel and flaky sea salt, making them anything but a basic butter cookie.

07 of 19

Apricot-Almond Thumbprints

Apricot-Almond Thumbprints
Hector Sanchez

Bright and cheery, these will give Santa's elves a run for their money. Almond-flavored thumbprints are delightfully finished with apricot preserves.

08 of 19

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Southern Living

Recipe: Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Give your holiday dessert table a citrus touch. A classic combination, lemon cookies and raspberry jam make quite the zingy duo.

09 of 19

Cherry-Chocolate Thumbprints

Cherry-Chocolate Thumbprints
Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Cherry-Chocolate Thumbprints

These'll look both elegant and festive at your Christmas cookie swap. The irresistible flavor combination of cherry and chocolate gets topped with melted white chocolate.

10 of 19

Blackberry Thumbprints

Blackberry Thumbprints
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett; Food Styling: Rebecca Kracke Gordon

Recipe: Blackberry Thumbprints

Simple and classic, these jam thumbprint cookies are like spiced butter cookies with a Southern finish.

11 of 19

No-Bake Almond Butter Thumbprints

No-Bake Almond Butter Thumbprints
Jen Causey

Recipe: No-Bake Almond Butter Thumbprints

These no-bake thumbprint cookies strike the perfect sweet-and-salty balance. Creamy almond butter and crushed pretzels are complemented by a festive dollop of strawberry jam.

12 of 19

Triple Mint Cookies

Coconut Thumbprints
Iain Bagwell

Chocolate and mint just love getting together for the holidays. This thumbprint recipe feels Yuletide-ready with green frosting.

13 of 19

Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Jam

Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Jam
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Tomato Jam

Thumbprint cookies get a sweet-and-savory—and totally Southern—makeover. A dollop of tomato jam is just what the cornmeal-flavored cookies call for.

14 of 19

Ambrosia Macaroons

Ambrosia Macaroons
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Ambrosia Macaroons

Ambrosia gets a modern makeover in these soft, chewy macaroons. Cherries—red or green—make festive buttons on top.

15 of 19

Quick PB&J Thumbprints

PB&J Thumbprints
Heidi's Bridge

If you're looking for a lunchbox treat that isn't totally unhealthy, this simple, five-ingredient recipe won't put your kids into a sugar coma.

16 of 19

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Praline Filling

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Praline Filling
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Making classic pralines from scratch can be difficult, but this sweet cookie recipe makes it easy.

17 of 19

Benne Seed Thumbprint Cookies

Benne Seed Thumbprint Cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Benne Seed Thumbprint Cookies

This elegant version of thumbprint cookies is elevated enough to serve at your Christmas dinner party but easy enough for the kids to help you bake.

18 of 19

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

This classic confection is the ultimate Christmas cookie to make with your kids.

19 of 19

Cheesecake Cookies

Cheesecake Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Cheesecake Cookies

This soft, vintage cookie recipe will add a fun visual pop to your dessert spread this Christmas.

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