Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies (small batch)

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

 One thing I have always loved to do, since my children were growing up, is to bake special goodies during the Christmas Season.   Some for my family of course and the others to gift to friends. 

Generally speaking I will start in early December, baking a variety of goods and freezing them for the holidays in air tight containers. (Note- anything with a glaze or frosting, don't glaze or frost until you get them ready to serve/gift.)

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

I always try to save containers for gifting throughout the year as well.  (And yes, I HAVE already eaten a small tin of butter cookies myself. I am bad.)

I love this time of year when people are so loving and giving, with the spirit of the season. I was so blessed the other day. I received a package from my friend Diana. In it was this lovely Advent Calendar. I can't wait to start using it!  

There was also a cookbook, but I didn't get a photograph of that!  Thank you so much Diana!  You made me smile and will be making me smile all through December!

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 
These Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies are perfect for gifting and for enjoying with a nice hot cup of tea.  They also look very festive with their ruby red centers!

It was such a gloomy day today, I have to apologize for the photos. They are not up to my usual standard, unfortunately. I can see that is going to be a problem here, but I will cope.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

I wanted to bake a surprise gift for my son and his wife to take back to PEI when they leave tomorrow.  Today was the perfect day to do that as they are in Halifax at the IWK with their son.

They live with my daughter-in-law's parents and I thought it would be nice to send them a gift for the holidays.  In the spirit of giving and with love for all of the special care they give to my grandsons.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 
I did small-batch the original recipe, which you will find on a blog called Cooking Classy.   The full batch makes 36 cookies. 

This smaller version makes only 18. Oh my but they are lovely and buttery short textured.  Yes, I did indulge in one. I mean, how can anyone resist!


Nothing too out of the ordinary.

  • all purpose plain flour
  • salt
  • butter (I always use salted.)
  • granulated white sugar
  • almond extract
  • seedless raspberry jam
  • icing sugar
  • water

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 
You can see these are perfect sized  little bites of Christmas Cookie bliss!  Each one only about 2 to 3 bites.

Prepare yourself to fall in love!

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 


These are relatively simple to make with no extraordinary equipment or skills needed. In fact you could get the children to help you roll the dough into balls. 

You begin by making the shortbread dough. You will need to beat the sugar and cold butter together. I thought this was a bit unusual.  And at first you don't think it is going to pull together because the butter is so cold, but persevere, it will eventually be right and creamed without being overly soft.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Once you have done that you can beat in the almond extract and then start beating in the flour.  It too will look like its never going to come together.

At first it appears very dry and crumbly and you think to yourself, this is never going to work, but then, as if by magic, it does and you have a nice malleable dough.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

You need to divide the dough into 15 walnut sized (1-inch) balls. You can do this between the palms of your hands. 

Place them onto a paper lined baking sheet. 

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Place the balls, leaving a space in between each on the baking sheet.  Then either using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon make a slight hollow in the center of each.

I use the back of a measuring spoon because it is easy and they all end up the same shape and depth, etc.  Continuity, perfection. Yes, I am a bit ocd.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Once you have done that, drop 1/2 tsp of seedless raspberry jam into the center of each and then pop the whole tray into the refrigerator to chill for about fifteen minutes.

While they are chilling you can preheat your oven.  Once that's done, just pop them into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

You don't want them to color at all. They should be pale golden brown on the bottoms, that's it!

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies 

Leave them on the baking sheet to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Once they are completely cold you can glaze them.

Glazing is easy. Just whisk the glaze ingredients together to get a stiff yet drizzable mixture and pop it into a small zip lock baggie. Snip off a small corner and then drizzle the frosting in a pretty pattern over top of the cookies. Easy peasy.

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

And that's it! You have a beautiful cookie which is perfect for enjoying with the family or gifting out.  You decide which you want to do.

They would look like pretty little jewels on a cookie tray for the holidays for sure, and I can tell you that they go very well wit a nice hot cuppa!  Share a little love or enjoy them yourself. Its all good!

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies (small batch)

Raspberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies (small batch)

Yield: 18 cookies
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 14 MinCook time: 18 Mininactive time: 15 MinTotal time: 47 Min
These have a beautiful short texture accentuated with a sweet dab of jam in the middle. They make perfect gifts for family, friends, and neighbors. Or you can always treat yourself!


For the cookies:
  • 1 cup +1 TBS (150g)all purpose plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter, cold and cut into largish bits
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • seedless raspberry jam
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup (65g) icing sugar, sifted
  • drop of almond extract
  • 1 - 2 tsp water


  1. Line a baking sheet with some baking parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer beat the cold butter and sugar together until combined. (This will take a few minutes due to the coldness of the butter, that's okay.) Beat in the almond extract
  3. Beat in the flour and salt. It may look like it is never going to come together, appearing very dry and crumbly, but persevere. It will come together perfectly.
  4. Divide and shape into 1 inch round balls. Place onto the baking sheet, leaving a bit of space in between each.
  5. Use your thumb or the back of a small measuring spoon to make an indentation in each. Spoon about 1/2 tsp of jam into each indentation. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4.
  7. Bake the cookies for 14 to 18 minutes. They should be pale golden brown on the bottoms only. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before scooping off onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Whisk all of the icing ingredients together to make a stiff-ish glaze. Pop into a little zip lock bag, snip off a tiny bit of one corner and then pipe the glaze onto the cookies.
  9. Allow them to set before storing in an airtight container.
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  1. These look so pretty, Marie. I'm going to make them for sure. Loved your previous post about decorating the kitchen for Christmas 🎄. Such good ideas. Enjoy the rest of your family's visit. Wishing them safe travels home. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Thanks so much Elaine! I hope that you enjoy them. That last post was just a bit of fun for the holidays. I sure wish I could decorate like that! Thanks for your safe travels wishes. I have so enjoyed having them here! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. Those raspberry thumbprints look delicious and so pretty. Indeed, they would be a perfect gift! I may have to add these to my holiday repertoire so thanks for this one!

    1. Thanks so much Jeanie! I hope you do add them! xoxo

  3. Marie, what would the difference in taste be if I used vanilla and not almond extract?

  4. Hello. I made this recipe today and it came out beautifully. Here in NZ we have a seedless bramble jam so I used that! Yum. Thank you for sharing - I will be making these agin.


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