Soft and buttery gluten free thumbprint jam cookies are a classic! Perfect for holidays or any occasion. Easy homemade cookies that everyone will love. Gluten + nut free.
These cookies are so soft and buttery you will not believe they are gluten free!
Free from: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
The secret is in the addition of cream cheese to really impart flavor into the dough. My family always has made Kolaczki cookies (aka Polish Jam cookies) every year and so when I wanted to make a round thumbprint cookie, I knew I needed to add the cream cheese!
While they are traditional around the winter holidays, you can make these cookies all year round! I think filled with chocolate ganache or lemon curd would be awesome in the summer.
Butter + Cream cheese - This combo of fats gives the cookies the most perfect blend of buttery goodness with a hint of a tang that compliments the sweet jam filling.
White + Powdered Sugar - By using both sugars, again we are getting the best of both worlds. The powdered sugar melts into the cookie and also provides a bit of structure.
Eggs - Using both a whole egg and egg yolk to achieve the right balance of structure, texture, and color.
Other ingredients you will need:
- Gluten free flour
- Cream of tartar
- Kosher salt
Best Gluten Free Flour to Use
Different gluten free flours have different blends of ground rice, potato, sorghum, etc. Because of this, different flours are better suited for different things. For all my cookie recipes, I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure flour. It has the best balance of texture and never produces anything gritty.
Need to avoid potatoes and nightshades? No worries! I have a gluten free flour blend that is nightshade free. And it works in all my cookie recipes wonderfully.
You are welcome to use a different flour than the ones I recommend, however, just be aware that you may need to adjust the recipe slightly to achieve the same results. Adding more or less flour is typical.
How to Make
Prep two baking trays with parchment paper or other non-stick surfaces. Set them aside. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, but they don’t spread out much so you can fit them all on two trays.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese, white sugar, and powdered sugar. Let this mix really well for about 5 minutes to get it light and fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing on low speed. You want to slowly incorporate the egg into the butter mix. This will help emulsify the dough, resulting in a better final crumb. If you mix too quickly, the batter will curdle and split.
After the eggs are fully mixed in, add the vanilla extract.
In a separate small bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
Now, slowly add the flour to the butter mixture while continuing to mix on low speed. Let this come together, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to fully get all the ingredients!
Taking your tablespoon cookie scoop, or just a tablespoon, measure out the dough and gently roll it in your hands. If you like, you can also roll each cookie dough ball into more white sugar for a sparkly effect on the finished cookies!
Place each cookie dough ball onto the prepared tray. Using your thumb, press about halfway down the cookie, making a place for the jam to go. Repeat until there is no dough left.
Now, spoon the jam into each cookie, filling up all the way, but making sure not to overflow the cookie.
Pop the filled cookies into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. This is so important! This is what will prevent your cookies from spreading and melting in the oven!
Baking the Cookies
Preheat the oven to 325F. After 30 minutes, place one baking tray of cookies in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes.
The cookies are done when they no longer look wet, are slightly deeper in color, and have a golden brown edge on the bottom of the cookie.
CAUTION! Don’t flip the cookies over to test the bottom or all the hot jam will fall out and could burn you. Just let them cool on the cookie tray.
(Speaking from experience here, hot jam is HOT HOT HOT!)
How to Store
Store these gluten free thumbprint cookies on the countertop or in the fridge in a container for up to 5 days.
These are delicious when frozen! Simply bake as directed and let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before enjoying from frozen. Cookies can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.
Best Jams to Use
Any flavor is a good flavor! Traditionally, these cookies are made with strawberry or apricot jam. My personal favorite is Bonne Maman because they are so allergy friendly!
Other flavors to fill these with:
- Orange marmalade
- Lemon curd
- Chocolate ganache
If you are dairy free, replace the butter and cream cheese with the non-dairy version of your choice. Different brands have different fat ratios, so you may need to add more or less flour to get the right dough texture. I recommend Earth Balance soy free for a plant-based butter and either Wayfare or Trader Joe’s plant based cream cheese.
If you are avoiding corn, make sure that you use corn free powdered sugar. My favorite brand is Wholesome Ingredients which uses tapioca in place of cornstarch in their powdered sugar.
When measuring the flour, make sure that you are using the spoon and level technique. Set your measuring cup on the tabletop and add flour using a spoon. When it is full, gently level it off with the back of a butter knife. This will give the most accurate measurement for flour.
Don’t skip the chilling! If you pop these cookies in the oven directly after mixing the dough, you run the risk of the cookies not holding their shape and making a mess.
Use parchment paper to line the baking trays for easy clean up!
More Cookie recipes to love
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- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- baking trays
- parchment paper
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 4 tablespoons white sugar for rolling if desired
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 ¼ cup gluten free flour
- 4 tablespoons jam of choice
- Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese, white sugar, and powdered sugar. Let this mix very well until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes of mixing on medium speed.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, turning the mixer to slow and letting it slowly incorporate. When it is fully mixed in, add the vanilla.
- In a small bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Now add the dry ingredients slowly to your mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until dough forms.
- Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, roll the dough between your hands to form a small ball. If you want, you can then roll the cookie in extra white sugar for a sparkle effect.
- Place the cookie dough ball on the baking tray and taking your thumb, gently press into each cookie about halfway down. Don’t worry about being perfect!
- Carefully spoon jelly/jam into each divot of the cookie.
- Place the cookies in the fridge and let them chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Bake each cookie sheet for 17-20 minutes or until the cookies look set and have a slightly golden brown crust on the bottom.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before handling. Be careful! Hot jam is very HOT!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.