Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch.

Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch. #thumbprintcookiesYou are loved just for being who you are, just for existing.   ~Ram Dass

Thumbprint Cookies are a classic favorite.  Here they are enhanced with rye flour, giving the cookie earthy undertones, which pairs perfectly with cardamom, toasty walnuts, and tart apricot jam.   These rustic little gems are like mini fruit tarts; plus rye flour is full of nutrition, so you can eat more.  😉

ingredients in thumbprint cookies

Gather your ingredients.

food processing the walnuts

We use the food processor to mix the dough for easy one bowl clean up.

Start with grinding the walnuts.

walnut crumb

You want the walnuts finely ground (being careful not to turn them into butter).

mixing the dough

Set walnuts aside.  No need to clean out the container.  Add all the dry ingredients.

add butter

Pulse butter into the dry mix.

adding the egg

Separate eggs.  Mix vanilla and yolks.  Add to the food processor.

Pulse until dough comes together.

thumbprint cookie dough

shaping the dough

Roll into a log, cut into 1/2 inch chunks, and roll into balls.

Dipping the dough into egg whites will help the nuts adhere.

Just coat the top half and set on tray.

making the thumbprint in the dough

Use your thumb or end of a wooden spoon or other kitchen tool to create a depression in the cookie.

Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch. #thumbprintcookies

Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then into a preheated oven.

Remove from the oven and press down the center of the cookie again and fill with jam.  Put back into the oven to finish baking.

Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch. #thumbprintcookies

Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch. #thumbprintcookies

Hope you enjoy these rustic Thumbprint Cookies!

Take good care,

Tonia

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Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays.  A melt in your mouth rustic thumbprint cookie with rye, toasty walnuts, cardamom and tangy apricot jam-  a perfect balance of flavors, decadent and lightly sweet with a satisfying crunch. #thumbprintcookies

Thumbprint Cookies with Walnuts and Apricot jam

  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 50
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 28 cookies 1x
  • Category: desserts, cookies,
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Classic Thumbprint Cookies enhanced with rye flour, cardamom, toasty walnuts, and apricot jam.  Subtly sweet with a light crunchy texture and decadent flavor.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (153 gramsrye flour
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs- whites and yolks separated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 335 degrees.
  2. Grinds nuts in food processor.
  3. Remove from processor and set aside 1/2 cup to add to batter later and the rest in a bowl for coating the cookie.
  4. Add rye flour, AP flour, cardamom, salt, and sugar into the food processor.  Pulse a few times to mix.
  5. Add butter, pulse to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
  6. Add in 1/2 cup of the ground walnuts.
  7. Whisk together vanilla and egg yolk.  Add and pulse in the processor until dough is combined.
  8. Roll dough into a log about 1-inch diameter, slice into 1/2 inch pieces and shape into balls.
  9. Whisk together egg whites with 1 tablespoon of water.  Dip the top half of the dough ball into the egg whites and then into the ground nuts.  Set nut side up on a baking tray.
  10. Press divots into the cookie ball with your thumb.  Place the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  11. Bake at 335 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, you may need to lightly press into divot again.  Fill with apricot jam.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes more.

Best eaten in 2 days.


Notes

Freeze the unbaked dough balls up to 3 months.  Or freeze the baked cookie up to a month in a sealed container.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 162
  • Sugar: 6.3 g
  • Sodium: 50.2 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 30.7 mg

Keywords: thumbprint cookies, thumbprint cookie recipe, thumbprint cookies apricot jam

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Comments

  1. These Thumbprint beauties are delicious. Plenty sweet, and only 1/2 cup sugar for the whole recipe ( except for the Jam ) I used fruit sweetened apricot preserves. All organic ingredients.

    I also made two changes to the recipe :

    *Instead of Rye flour, I used Whole Wheat flour, (could not find my rye flour).
    *I only used One Teaspoon ground Cardamom, (not two).
    They were very good. I keep my Cardamom in the freezer, very expensive to waste

    1. Glad you liked these Mary! That is a great idea to keep the cardamom in the freezer! I find that it varies so much in freshness when buying it ground. I am going to do that, grind it fresh and keep it in the freezer!

  2. Great flavor. I love the addition of walnuts, cardamom and rye flour.

    My dough was really crumbly, so I added some chilled water as mentioned in other comments and that seemed to help. Will make again!

    Sylvia has no recipes that disappoint! 👏🏼

  3. These were fantastic! The cardamom really comes through without overpowering. The cookies came together easily, and the sandiness of the rye flour adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. We made them as a component of cookie plates for family and friends and this has been the most requested recipe by the recipients!

  4. Delicious! This is the perfect recipe to make for the holidays. The sweet, salty, and tangy flavor mash together perfectly. Another winner 🙂

  5. Hi Sylvia, I am allergic to walnuts. Can I use pecans or almonds or do you have a suggestion for the best substitute for the nuts? Just FYI, I have homemade Plum Jam that I was going to use instead of Apricot.

    Thanks, Ginger

  6. Making this now & forming the cookies is a disaster.I doubled my recipe but the dough is so dry & crumbly it is almost impossible to form.I ended up adding a few tablespoons of chilled water.The recipe sounds so good,hope they turn out.

      1. I weighed the flour & followed the recipe exactly.The end result was delicious .I absolutely love all your other recipes I have tried.

        1. Because I doubled the recipe I had to mix it by hand with a pastry blender would that make a difference?

          1. awww…. sorry! sounds like a frustrating process! I do think the food processor helps the dough adhere. If you decide to try again I would do 1 batch at a time.

  7. Delicious cookie recipe. I substituted walnuts for almonds because I’m allergic to walnuts, and I didn’t have rye flour so used whole wheat flour. They turned out great!

  8. These were divine! I didn’t have rye flour on hand so I used buckwheat flour and they were delicious. Like buckwheat shortbread with jam. Can’t wait to try them with rye flour to see the difference!

  9. You can use whole wheat pastry flour or all white in place of the rye. I do recommend weighing the flour as rye flour is more dense, which just means you may need a little more if you use all white flour.
    Instead of cardamom, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger would be nice!
    Let us know what you come up with!

  10. Hi! I just made these yesterday and they are a hit!
    I just wanted to point out that in the actual instructions for making the recipe the 1/2 cup of sugar seems that have been forgotten… I’m assuming it would be added into the food processor at step 4.
    Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Opps! Yes, that is exactly where the sugar goes in 😊 Thanks for letting us know! We adjusted the instructions.
      So glad you liked them!

  11. Hi Sylvia,
    I really want to make these cookies, but I am not a fan of cardamom and I don’t have rye flour. Would you be able to suggest any substitutes for these two ingredients?
    Thank you,

    1. You can use whole wheat pastry flour or all white in place of the rye. I do recommend weighing the flour as rye flour is more dense, which just means you may need a little more if you use all white flour.

      Instead of cardamom, a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger would be nice!

      Let us know what you come up with!