Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies are buttery vanilla shortbread cookies filled with lemon curd and drizzled with white chocolate. They are so amazing, you’ll want more than one batch!

overhead view of Lemon Thumbprint Cookies on a sea green plate

I am a sucker for an old fashioned classic recipe like thumbprint cookies. The cookie itself is a buttery melt in your mouth shortbread. And most often they are filled with some flavor of jam.

I love to eat these sweet beauties but I’m also a major fan of these salted dulce de leche thumbprint cookies.

It took me several days to perfect the recipe for these cookies. I tested multiple recipes from well-known cookbooks, online sources, and other bloggers. Each ending in disaster. The cookies were either way too sweet or spread far too much.

Finally, with batch five I achieved thumbprint success! No spreading. No sugary toothache. Just pure cookie perfection.

Shortbread cookies are often a ratio of one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Sorted Food actually did a video on this not too long ago. And while every recipe I tested contained those ratios, each one was a failure.

Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon with a bite taken out

So for my final recipe, I added a little extra flour. Actually, a lot of extra flour. A whole fourth cup extra.

The purpose of the extra flour was to stabilize the dough. I didn’t want to fiddle with finicky cookie dough that needed to remain cold up until it went in the oven. That’s just too much work.

Instead, we now have an easy shortbread dough that chills once before rolling and filling.

I used a small cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. Each one should be about one tablespoon in size. Roll the dough into a neat ball and then press an indention in the middle with your thumb.

You can also use the back of a teaspoon, just be sure to flour it so it doesn’t stick. Also, be mindful of how deep you make the impression. If you go too deep, your lemon curd may seep out the bottom.

Fill the indentions with about a fourth of a teaspoon of lemon curd.

process of making lemon thumbprint cookies

The cookies only need to bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, just until the bottom edges are lightly browned. It’s important not to overbake shortbread. You want them to be a little soft so they will melt in your mouth.

Let the cookies cool completely before drizzling with white chocolate.

I just know you are going to love these! Be prepared to make multiple batches because your friends and family will be asking for more.

stack of Lemon filled thumbprint cookies

If you love these cookies, you might also want to try these iced Meyer lemon cookies and these cranberry frosted pistachio cookies.

These lemon thumbprint cookies have a buttery vanilla shortbread cookie that is filled with lemon curd and drizzled with white chocolate.

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies are buttery vanilla shortbread cookies filled with lemon curd and drizzled with white chocolate. They are so amazing, you'll more than one batch!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Yields: 17 cookies
Calories: 224
Author: Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg yolk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Stir with a whisk. Gradually stir the flour into the butter and mix just until blended. Shape the dough into a ball, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Shape the dough into 1 tablespoon size balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your thumb or the back of a teaspoon, press a light indention in the center of each ball. Take care not to press too far down. If the edges crack while making the indention, simply pinch them back together to smooth them out. Otherwise, cracks are okay. Fill the indents with 1/4 teaspoon lemon curd. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edges are lightly browned.
  • Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the white chocolate drizzle: Combine the white chocolate and canola oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir until melted. If additional heating is needed, do it in 10-second intervals. Stir well after each interval until the chocolate has melted completely. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.