Raspberry Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies

Thursday, May 2

Raspberry Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

When I was in grade school I remember a rather bully-ish boy who liked to stick his index finger into everyone's peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For this reason the phrase "thumbprint cookie" is slightly off putting. I'm all for diving into food with both hands, but the idea of deliberately poking something seems offensive and unsanitary. Luckily as a child I didn't know that the jam-filled confections were called thumbprint cookies. To me they were tasty, jewel-toned medallions, filled with magical powers that would help me save Fantasia from The Nothing - and hide me from food ravaging bullies.

If you didn't grow up loving The NeverEnding Story, please give it another chance. Maybe we can be friends again. (If you are too young to have heard about the movie, I don't want to know!) ;)
Even though I'm slightly uncomfortable with the title, these thumbprint cookies were splendid, and simple, and a bit magical - they certainly disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Raspberry Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

Hopefully it's acceptable to make thumbprint cookies in the spring. Part of me insisted that this was a holiday recipe - one that should only be made during snow squalls and amid the chaos of un-bought gifts and close-talking guests.

As of now, it's warm (finally!), birds are singing, lawns are growing, and I'm dodging a bumble bee the size of a gerbil - instead of close talkers. Life is beautiful.

The cornmeal gives these cookies a pleasant, nubby, texture - not gritty, just subtle and curious. No one will know of its presence unless they ask for the recipe (which is likely to happen!). I baked my cookies for the minimum time, 8 minutes, so they would retain a soft chew. If you prefer your thumbprint cookies on the crisper side, feel free to leave them in for the full 10 minutes. Also, feel free to use your favourite jam, or lemon curd!

Raspberry Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

Raspberry Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies
makes about 20-22 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used light)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup raspberry jam (feel free to use any kind of jam!)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy - about 5-7 minutes on med-high speed. Add the egg and almond - beat until well combined. Scrape down the edges of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on med-low speed until the dough just starts to cling to the blade. Use a large rubber spatula to give the dough a few more solid turns. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 40 minutes.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Measure out 1/3 cup of raspberry jam and place into a small bowl. Stir the jam vigorously - until it loosens and smooths out; Set aside.

Remove the bowl of dough from the fridge. For each cookie - measure out a well-rounded teaspoonful (mine were approximately .06 oz each). Roll each mound of dough into a ball and place onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2-inches of space between each.

Use one of your fingers or the end of a wooden spoon to make a hole through the center of each cookie. {Don't go all the way through to the bottom.} Gently expand the hole so the cookies resemble tiny cups. Spoon the raspberry jam into each cookie. {I used a 1/4 teaspoon and filled each cookie almost to the top.} Return the filled cookies to the refrigerator and chill for about 30 minutes. {Note: Chilling the dough will prevent the cookies from spreading too much whilst baking.}

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden in colour. {My cookies were perfect after 8 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies, leave them in for the full 10 minutes.} Remove the sheets from the oven and allow cookies to rest for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. {Note: The filling is very hot!! I know this from firsthand experience.} ;)

If desired, once the cookies have cooled off completely sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar and enjoy!

adapted from Epicurious 


  1. Pretty and really tempting! Those are cookies I could eat till I get sick...



  2. These are such lovely cookies Valerie. Just lovely!

  3. So fun and delicious looking, I love the cornmeal! It's so funny how childhood memories go with us for so long!

  4. I love thumbprint cookies! They are like little gems, I completely agree. And magical powers, absolutely! :)

    Love the raspberry-cornmeal combo. I've had berries and cornmeal on the brain lately... :)

  5. Val, these thumbprint cookies are beautiful. I have a biscotti recipe that I use cornmeal in, it adds such a lovely texture!! What are the cookie photos on, an old cookie sheet? I love the grunge look of it!

  6. @Carol: That is indeed a very old cookie sheet. Thanks for appreciating it's "character." Sometimes I'll receive a phone call from my mom - yelling at me for not giving it a thorough scrubbing. :D

  7. Valerie - I think of these as year round cookies and I am glad you made these - they look divine! My cookie sheets look this way too - I think of them as "well loved". And I think they make your photos just pop!

  8. Cookies, and it's not Christmas - what a marvelous idea!

  9. I think of thumbprint cookies all year round....and they do look good on the gently aged cookie sheet ;-)
    I don't like the idea of somebody poking your sandwich...not so nice, I don't think I would share my cookies with him!

  10. Love that you posted them now. I have a recipe for nobake PB & J thumbprints and I remember posting it at a non-holiday time and wondering the same thing. But it's nice to enjoy certain things all year! Plus, they don't get lost in the shuffle that way with the other 78997 versions of cookies at holidays!

  11. I want to try this recipe, for sure! thanks for sharing, and as always, love your photography.

  12. Wow, these take me back...my mum used to bake these when I was a kid, and I would nibble all the way around the cookie and save the jam until the last delicious bite. Thanks for the memory- My mum will be in town this weekend and I'm going to make these with her!

  13. Those cookies need to see my belly!! STAT! ~drooling~

    LOOOOOOL @ the bully!! Oh my! hahahaha! Sorry you had to deal with that, but it's still hilarious! AM I being insensitive?!

    When I came to this country, The Never Ending Story was the first movie I saw...I looooved it!

  14. Holiday or not, I love these so much. And that's really gross what that boy did but would you expect anything less from a boy in elementary school? I think there was always one like that.

  15. ahhh i loved neverending story!!!! and i love these cookies, they sound absolutely delicious :)

  16. so pretty and they sound delish!

  17. These are the sweetest looking cookies, I love the look of the jammy filling!

  18. Didn't you get the memo, cookies are timeless. I'd take your bully any day compared to the one who tried to rob me of my lunch money daily. Aaah the joys of childhood. I think I'll stick to cookies, they never give me the same grief. Love the cornmeal in yours. Have a great weekend.

  19. I would enjoy these cookies year round! They are beautiful!

  20. These sound fabulous! I love raspberry jam so much more than the classic grape. PS: I loved The NeverEnding Story!! Haven't seen it in ages!!

  21. Wow, what a horrible little boy, that's awful!! And totally disgusting too :) Your cookies, however, look wonderful! I am intrigued by the addition of cornmeal!

  22. I'm adding these cookies to my must-try list. They look wonderful!

  23. Simply delicious! I've been so busy lately, I wish there was a vending machine at home that dispenses delicious goodies like this while I kick back and relax!

  24. I like the use of cornmeal in these cookies and raspberry jam in each cookie sounds tasty since I love berries. I think I would be put off by thumbprint cookies too if I had the same memory :0

  25. I made these yesterday, after printing off the recipe.
    They are absolutely perfect.
    Love them, terrific recipe.
    This is going in the forever file!

  26. @Debra: I'm so happy you liked the cookies - thanks for letting me know! :D

  27. It is finally getting warm here too! We just watched the Never Ending Story with my 8 year old, first time I have ever seen it!

    Cookies sound wonderful!

  28. Dumb kid. Ruining thumbprint cookies for you. :(

    And love that cookie sheet! Prettiest one I recall seeing.

    And what?! Thumbprint cookies are seasonal? I had no idea. I think they're perfect any day of the year. :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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