These holiday shortbread thimble cookies made with nuts and jam or jelly are a delicious Christmas treat that everyone loves.
In my family, part of Christmas celebrations always includes holiday baking like cranberry and white chocolate oatmeal cookies and cherry winks . These shortbread thimble cookies are another family favorite!
These delicious cookies have been baked in my family at Christmas for generations.
My mother, grandmother and great grandmother as well as my great aunts all made them as part of their required “Christmas baking.”
They are similar to shortbread in taste (but are much easier to make!) and look very festive on a plate.
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- dairy – ½ cup butter
- sweetener – ¼ cup sugar
- eggs – 1 large egg
- flavoring – 1 teaspoon vanilla
- baking supplies – 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour.
- nuts – 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts. I use walnuts, or pecans.
- Jelly or Jam – I like a red jelly, like red currant, but you can also use a green jelly like mint. Make sure it’s not too runny or it won’t stay on the cookie.
How to make shortbread thimble cookies
Watch the video to get the overview:
Take the butter and egg out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time so they are at room temperature when making the cookies.
This will make the butter much easier to beat, and keeps the cookies light and fluffy.
Pre-heat the oven to 325℉.
Sift the flour before measuring it. This adds some air to the flour and also keeps the cookie dough from being too heavy.
Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. This will prevent the bottom of the cookies from getting too brown.
Make the cookie dough
Beat the butter until it is fluffy.
Then add the sugar gradually and beat until it is dissolved in the butter.
Beating the butter and sugar well before adding any other ingredients is another trick to getting light and fluffy cookies.
Next, separate the egg. I use an egg separator for this, but you can also do it by passing the egg yolk back and forth between the egg shell halves over a bowl until all of the egg white has dripped off.
Put the egg yolk and egg whites into separate small bowls.
Beat the egg yolk well with a whisk or fork.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla flavoring and flour to the butter mixture.
Mix with a large spoon. This will make a stiff batter. Do not use the mixer for this part or it will end up being too crumbly.
Form the cookies
Slightly beat the egg white with a fork.
Then make small balls out of pieces of the cookie dough (about 1 Tablespoon in size) by rolling it between the palms of your hands.
Dip the balls in the egg white and roll in the finely chopped nuts.
Lay the cookies out about 2 inches apart on the parchment-covered cookie sheet.
Finally use a thimble to make a dent in the middle of the cookies. If you don’t have a thimble, you can also use the back of a small round measuring spoon, or your finger.
Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are slightly browned.
If the dent in the cookies is too shallow, use the thimble to push down the centers again while the cookies are still warm.
Then add the jelly in the center. I use a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop out the jelly.
Cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove to wire rack until completely cold.
How to store shortbread thimble cookies
You can store holiday shortbread thimble cookies in an air tight container in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
Other Christmas cookie recipes you might like
- Slice and bake Peppermint cookies
- Lemon cream cheese cookies
- Cranberry and white chocolate oatmeal cookies
- Old fashioned cherry winks cookies
- Christmas tree sugar cookies
Holiday Shortbread Thimble Cookies Recipe
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixer and mixing bowl
- egg separator (optional)
- fork or whisk
- 2 small bowls
- parchment paper
- cookie sheet
- thimble or small round spoon
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups Chopped nuts or shredded coconut
- 5 teaspoons red or green jelly or jam
- Beat the butter until it is fluffy.
- Then add the sugar gradually and beat until it is dissolved in the butter.
- Separate the egg. Set the egg white aside.
- Beat the egg yolk with a whisk or fork.
- Add the egg yolk, vanilla flavoring and flour to the butter mixture, and mix by hand until it is a stiff batter.
- Break off pieces of dough that are about 1 Tablespoon in size and shape into balls by gently rolling between your palms.
- Dip each ball in slightly beaten egg white, then roll in chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Make a dent in the center of each ball with a thimble, the back of a small measuring spoon or your finger.
- Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are slightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and immediately use the thimble to make the dents deeper.
- Fill the dents with a ¼ teaspoon jelly while the cookies are still hot.
- Cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove to wire rack until completely cold.
- Store in an air tight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
- Use a jam or jelly that isn’t too runny, otherwise you will have trouble keeping it on the cookie.
- Sifting the flour before you measure it is very important to making shortbread that is fluffy and light.
- Similarly, make sure you beat the butter and sugar well before adding other ingredients. The butter should be fluffy and the sugar should be dissolved into it. This is much easier to do if the butter is room temperature when you start. If you forget to take it out of the refrigerator, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it.
- Mixing the flour in by hand is another important step to prevent the cookies from being too tough.
But before you go don’t forget to check out the other Christmas treat recipes from my blogging friends.
We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you oodles of DIY ideas and recipes to make your holiday season merrier.
This is Day 11 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series.
You can find out more about this annual blog hop and get links to all of the other days here: 50+ Blogger’s DIY Christmas Ideas.
Now it’s time to enjoy all of the Christmas sweets we have been in the kitchen making!