Holiday Thumbprints with That Skinny Chick…

Every year during the holidays I tend to gravitate towards the same recipes time and time again – the family favorites and classics that have become something tantamount to sacred tradition in our house.

Until something comes along and catches my eye which I can’t wait to try!  Liz over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake tempts me all the time with delectable treats like Quadruple Chocolate Cookies (yes, you heard me right, quadruple) and Earthquake Cookies.

So when I sat down and dreamed up a list of bloggers I’d love to have over for a cookies swap, Liz ranked right up at the top.  I’m thrilled she could drop by today and share one her favorite holiday cookie recipes!

The first of my holiday cookie exchanges is coming up this week, so when Jen asked if I’d guest post for her series on the 12 Days of Cookies, I knew it was just the push I needed.

When you must make a large batch of cookies, simple is best. And these are simple, yet tasty and visually appealing. The vanilla dough is sweet and buttery, and the fillings can be varied depending on your preferences.

My daughter likes the plain icing, while my hubby and the boys would happily eat either the chocolate or vanilla filling. No one got too excited when I filled them with jam a few years ago, but that’s another beautiful option.The dough balls can also be brushed with egg white and rolled in coconut, chopped nuts, colored sugars or sprinkles.

These thumbprints were both festive and delicious. When I asked my hubby if he liked them, with a twinkle in his eye, he replied that he needed about 5 more before reaching a verdict. I quickly packed up the 48 I needed for the party and hid them in the freezer…knowing my gang, they could disappear fast!

Holiday Thumbprints…adapted from my friend Paula

Yield: Makes about 7 dozen


For cookies:

2 cups butter, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt


Icing #1 (enough for half a batch):

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Icing #2 (enough for half a batch)

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon hot water

Food coloring/paste

M & Ms, optional garnish


For cookies: Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix till well blended. Add vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix till dough forms. Cover and chill dough at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 300º. Line baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each dough ball, leaving a round indentation. Bake for about 20 minutes. Do not let brown.

If necessary, carefully use your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon to re-indent cookies after they come out of the oven. Allow to cool. Fill indentation with icing of your choice. Top with an M & M if desired.

To make Icing #1, heat sugar, cocoa and milk in saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Allow to cool, then whip to spreading consistency.

To make Icing #2, mix powdered sugar and butter. Add enough water to bring to spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired.


About Liz: I live in Indianapolis with my husband, 3 children, and sweet, old, yellow Lab, Lambeau. I’ve loved to bake since I was in high school…my mom would try all sorts of ethnic and exotic recipes, but rarely bake a dessert. So when my sisters and I wanted a treat, we’d crack open her cookbooks and whip up something sweet.

Fast forward a few years to when I married a true chocoholic…I started baking cookies, brownies, cakes and pies with more regularity. I started my blog to keep track of my recipes and share with friends…and the biggest bonus of writing a blog is making fabulous foodie friends like Jen!

I’d love if you’d follow:

My blog That Skinny Chick Can Bake

My facebook fan page

On Twitter: @ThatSkinnyChick

On Stumble Upon

And on Google+


Thanks Liz for taking the time to stop by during this busy season to share one your favorites with us.   For you readers, please take a minute to stop by That Skinny Chick Can Bake and give her a little holiday comment love!

Before you go, don’t forget there’s still time to enter my Michael’s Gift Card Giveaway!

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  1. 1

    Jen, THANK YOU for asking me to guest post! I am truly honored to be here today…and what a sweet introduction! Now off to enter your giveaway :)

  2. 2

    Those thumbprints look perfect for the holidays. I have never seen them with the candies on top. What a cute idea!

  3. 3

    Anything Liz makes rocks. I learned that when she was my secret recipe club person. :) Thanks for having her as your guest blogger, Jen. These cookies look fantastic. My Hubby would have the same response, but I’d be protecting the cookies with my knives instead of hiding them away. :)

  4. 4

    Your thumbprints are so cute, and perfect for a cookie swap! i love the M&M’s on top. Great guest post, Liz..

    Jen, Thanks for having Liz as your guest blogger. Wonderful choice!

  5. 5

    I love these cuties – perfect for parties, colourful yet classic with the buttery vanilla taste. Perfect, Liz. Also, the photos are stunning as ever. Great to see you at Jen’s place baking cookies – great idea, Jen!

  6. 6

    I need to make a batch of these for the mail lady, the garbage guy, the neighbors. . . this will definitely be the simple but guaranteed delicious. Thanks, Liz! Thanks, Jen!

  7. 7

    Thanks Jen for stopping by and leading me to your site. These cookies look yummy Sandra, I was just at your site and seeing them twice is making me hungry. Love that chocolate icing.

  8. 8

    Oh yum! I love that these are filled with chocolate instead of jam! I would fit right in with Lizzy’s family.

  9. 9

    Great post ladies! Liz I LOVE the versatility of these thumbprints. And you are right…when baking a large amount…simple is the way to go! I love this chocolate filling….so I don’t think I’d change a thing! : )

  10. 10

    Isn’t Liz amazing!? I love her recipes and posts and this one is no different. The cookies look absolutely delicious AND so perfect for the holidays! Love it!

  11. 11

    Another great recipe from Liz! These look so cute and festive! Oh yeah, and really delicious!

  12. 12

    Delicious! You have really picked an All-Star Line-up so far, Jen! Thanks! Liz – the cookies look amazing! I love the idea of chocolate in them – that’s my preference. Honey Bunny would want the jam centers!

  13. 14

    First off Jen, you have a very lovely site. And Liz, thank you for sending me here to discover a brand new delicious blog! I used to make thumbprint cookies all the time many years ago, but with apricot jam on top. I really like how these have such fun and festive red and green colors on them! Perfect for the holidays!

  14. 16

    Liz is one of my favourite bloggers, thanks for bringing her on board as a guest! Sweet little cookies!

  15. 17

    Oh what a beautiful post, and I adore Lizzy so much..isn’t she a complete sweetheart?
    Liz, your recipe is amazing! I enjoyed it very much!!! Best holiday season to both of you!!!

  16. 18

    Thanks again, Jen, for letting me share a recipe here…and thanks, everyone, for the sweet comments!!!

  17. 20

    I usually do these with Hershey’s kisses on top, but I love the m&ms!!!!

  18. 21

    love love love how pretty and simple these are- can’t wait to try!!

Please leave some comment love!