Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies: A Holiday Delight

If you’re looking for a delightful treat that captures the essence of the holiday season, you’ve come to the right place. Our Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are a heartwarming combination of warm spices and sweet jam. These soft and chewy cookies are like a hug for your taste buds, reminiscent of cozy holiday gatherings and the joy of the festive season. Let’s embark on a journey to create these delightful cookies that will fill your home with the aroma of gingerbread.

How to Make Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

A Festive Introduction

Gingerbread cookies have a rich history that’s deeply entwined with holiday traditions. The combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses in these cookies has been a beloved part of holiday celebrations for centuries. Whether you’re baking them for a cookie exchange, gifting them to loved ones, or simply indulging in a cozy treat, Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are the embodiment of the holiday spirit.

Tools and Serving Size

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or hand mixer
  • Spoon
  • Wire rack

Serving Size: This recipe yields approximately 24 cookies, depending on the size of the dough balls you create.

Cooking Time: The total cooking time for Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies is approximately 10-12 minutes, with some additional time for preparation and cooling.


  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for rolling
  • Jam or fruit preserves of your choice

Ingredient Substitutions:

  • All-Purpose Flour: If you prefer a different type of flour, such as whole wheat or gluten-free, you can experiment with these options. However, the texture and taste may vary.
  • Unsalted Butter: If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it and adjust the amount of additional salt in the recipe accordingly.
  • Molasses: If you don’t have molasses, you can use dark corn syrup as a substitute. It will provide a similar level of sweetness and moisture to the cookies.

Now that you have all the tools and ingredients ready, let’s delve into creating these delectable Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies.


  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the cookies from sticking.
  2. Prepare the Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt. This mixture will be the foundation of your gingerbread cookies.
  3. Beat the Butter and Sugar: In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer or hand mixer to beat the softened unsalted butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Continue mixing until the combination becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Incorporate the Wet Ingredients: Add the large egg and molasses to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a smooth dough forms. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all the flour and spices.
  6. Roll the Dough Balls: Roll the gingerbread dough into small balls, ensuring that they are uniform in size. The size of the dough balls will determine the final size of your cookies.
  7. Coat with Sugar: Roll each dough ball in the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. This step adds a delightful sugary coating to your cookies and a touch of sweetness.
  8. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the sugared dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring there’s enough space between each cookie. They will spread slightly as they bake, and you’ll need room to create the thumbprint.
  9. Create Thumbprint Indentations: Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. This is where you’ll later add the jam or fruit preserves.
  10. Fill with Jam: Fill each indentation with a small amount of your preferred jam or fruit preserves. The choice of flavor is entirely up to your preference.
  11. Bake to Perfection: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are set. Keep a close eye on them, as gingerbread cookies can quickly go from perfectly baked to overdone.
  12. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can savor the wonderful blend of spices and sweet jam.

Top 4 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistake 1: Overbaking the Cookies

How to Avoid: Keep a close eye on the cookies while they’re in the oven. They can go from perfectly baked to overdone quickly. Remove them as soon as the edges set.

Mistake 2: Inconsistent Dough Ball Size

How to Avoid: Aim to create uniform dough balls to ensure even baking. This will help your cookies maintain a consistent size and shape.

Mistake 3: Not Letting the Cookies Cool

How to Avoid: Allowing the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack is essential. Rushing this step can lead to fragile cookies that might break.

Mistake 4: Using too Much or too Little


How to Avoid: Fill the thumbprint indentations with a small amount of jam or fruit preserves. Using too much can cause overflow during baking, while too little might result in dry cookies.

FAQ: Answers to Common Questions

Q1: Can I make the cookie dough in advance and store it for later use?
A1: Yes, you can prepare the cookie dough and store it in the refrigerator for up to a few days. This can be convenient for making fresh cookies on demand.

Q2: Can I freeze these cookies after baking?
A2: Absolutely! Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies freeze well. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Q3: What types of jam or fruit preserves work best for these cookies?
A3: You can use a variety of flavors, including raspberry, strawberry, apricot, or any fruit preserves you prefer. It’s a great opportunity to customize the cookies to your liking.

Q4: Can I add icing or glaze to these cookies for extra decoration?
A4: Of course! After the cookies have cooled, you can drizzle them with icing or glaze for an added touch of sweetness and decoration.

Q5: Are these cookies suitable for gifting during the holiday season?
A5: Yes, Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies make a delightful holiday gift. Simply arrange them in a festive tin or box for a personal and tasty present.

In conclusion, Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are a wonderful embodiment of the holiday spirit, offering a delightful blend of warm spices and sweet jam. Whether you’re baking them for a special occasion or simply to enjoy a comforting treat at home, these cookies are sure to warm your heart and taste buds. So, gather your ingredients, prepare your baking sheet, and get ready to create a batch of these delightful Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies. Happy baking!

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