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There are many Christmas cookie recipes waiting to be baked this holiday season, and these festive red velvet thumbprints deserve to be at the top of the list. Nestled amongst cheery holiday treats like snow flurries, lemon tassies, and pecan sandies, thumbprint cookies are even simpler by design: basic butter or sugar cookies jazzed up with jam or whatever filling desired. Whether tender and shortbread-like, or chewy and chocolatey, thumbprint cookies give a merry twist to Christmas cookies. Make it an activity, and ask the kids to help. It calls for pushing your thumb into the soft centers of the rolled cookie dough, then after baked, finishing them with dollops of a white chocolate-cream cheese filling that would make Santa giddy. You'll be filling decorative cookie tins, boxes, and jars with these red velvet thumbprint cookies as wonderful gifts for friends, family, and gracious hostesses throughout the holidays. Test Kitchen Tip: There's no need to use a pastry bag to fill cookies. Just transfer the frosting to a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and snip the corner.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

12 mins
1 hr 20 mins
Makes about 2 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and food coloring; beat 30 seconds.

  • Sift flour with next 2 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in vanilla.

  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press thumb or end of a wooden spoon into each ball, forming an indentation.

  • Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies are fragrant and dry. While cookies are still warm, press indentations again. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

  • Stir together cream cheese and melted white chocolate in a small bowl. Fill centers of cookies with cream cheese mixture.