Strawberry Cream Cheese Thumbprints

It’s finals week over here at Hamilton College and the grind has hit me. Lots of studying, lots of Christmas music, and soon lots of packing, too. I’m not too stressed out because I’ve set myself up pretty well for finals week in all my classes, but it’s still a lot of work. I’m not a huge fan of studying for organic chemistry, and I just have to do so much of it. But I’ll get through it and get to go home for Hanukkah, sitting by the fire, and decorating the Christmas Tree. It’s all worth it. Now to these cookies. 

I love thumbprint cookies. I think it’s because I don’t like cookies that are all one flavor because I think it’s boring, so putting something in the middle is a good way to mix and match flavors. Thumbprints always go well with jam, and in this recipe you use cream cheese, too. They’re absolutely delicious, and definitely a great holiday cookie!

These thumbprints have a very simple dough. It’s loaded with butter, sugar, and if you use vanilla bean paste like I did, an intense vanilla flavor. It’s absolutely delicious, I know from first-hand experience of eating too much of the dough (whoops sorry not sorry). Then, you roll them into smaller balls than you think you should, then make an indent in the middle and fill them with jam.

For these types of cookies, you don’t always bake the cookie with the filling in the middle, like with my Chocolate Thumbprints. However, for these cookies, the jam is in fact baked with the cookie, which makes it even easier on your part! I call these Strawberry Cream Cheese Thumbprints but you can really use any jam you like. Strawberry goes very well with vanilla and is typically well-liked, but you can also use raspberry, mixed berry, cherry, blueberry, or whatever else your heart desires.

Whether you’re making these for Christmas or during some free time in July, these are sure to be delicious. Happy baking!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Thumbprints

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 30

Strawberry Cream Cheese Thumbprints

Delicious buttery shortbread cookies with a dollop of strawberry jam in the middle. Perfect cookies for your holiday platter!


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract*
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Seedless strawberry jam


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If refrigerating overnight, let the dough sit out for 10 minutes before rolling for easier handling.
  3. Roll the dough out into about 1" balls. Using your thumb or preferably, the back of a wooden spoon, make an indent in each cookie. Fill each cookie with jam all the way and then some. The jam shrinks in size, plus the more jam to each bite the better.
  4. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Let cool completely.


*I used vanilla bean extract in this recipe and highly recommend. It gives a much more intense, authentic vanilla taste.

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Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

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