Holiday Shortbread Thimble Cookies (and 10+ other Christmas treats)

These holiday shortbread thimble cookies made with nuts and jam or jelly are a delicious Christmas treat that everyone loves.

In my family, part of Christmas celebrations always includes holiday baking, including cherry cheesecake tarts and mincemeat tarts. These shortbread thimble cookies are another family favorite!

Holiday Shortbread Thimble Cookies Recipe

These delicious cookies have been baked in my family at Christmas for generations.

My mother, grandmother and great grandmother as well as my great aunts all made them as part of their required “Christmas baking.”

They are similar to shortbread in taste and look very festive on a plate.

But before we go any further, you’ll be getting a whole bunch of other Christmas treat recipes from my blogging friends.

Welcome to Day 11 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!

GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It’s Day 11 and we have been in the kitchen making something sweet to share!

How To Make Holiday Shortbread Thimble Cookies

There are a few tricks to making these shortbread thimble cookies turn out light and fluffy.

  • The first is to make sure that you sift the flour before you measure it. That adds some air to the flour and keeps the cookie dough from being too heavy.
  • The second is to beat the butter and sugar well before adding any other ingredients. The butter should be fluffy and the sugar should be dissolved before continuing. It is much easier to do this if the butter is room temperature before you start. If you forget to take it out of the refrigerator, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it.
  • After the butter is fluffy, mix in the egg yolk, vanilla and flour by hand rather than using the mixer. The dough will be dry and crumbly, so you want to combine it by hand until you can form it into a ball.

Then make small balls out of pieces of the cookie dough by rolling it between the palms of your hands.

Dip in the egg white and roll in the finely chopped nuts.

Finally use a thimble, the back of a small measuring spoon, or your finger to make a dent in the middle of the cookies.

See how it’s done by watching the video:

Bake and add the jelly in the center while the cookies are still warm.

 

You can store holiday shortbread thimble cookies in an air tight container in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

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Holiday Shortbread Thimble Cookies Recipe

These holiday shortbread thimble cookies made with nuts and jam or jelly are a delicious Christmas treat that everyone loves.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Chopped nuts I use walnuts, or pecans
  • Jelly or Jam I like a red jelly, like red currant, but you can also use a green jelly like mint. Make sure it's not too runny or it won't stay on the cookie.

Tools and Utensils

  • 1 mixer and mixing bowl
  • 1 egg separator (optional)
  • 1 small bowl
  • parchment paper
  • 1 cookie sheet
  • 1 thimble (optional)

Instructions

  • Beat the butter until it is fluffy.
  • Then add the sugar gradually and beat until it is dissolved in the butter.
  • Separate the egg. I use an egg separator for this, but you can also do it by passing the egg yolk back and forth between the egg shell halves until all of the egg white has dripped off.
  • Beat the egg yolk well.
  • Add the egg yolk, vanilla flavoring and flour and mix by hand. This will make a stiff batter. Do not mix this part with a mixer or the mixture will end up being too crumbly.
  • Break off pieces of dough and shape into balls by gently rolling between your palms. You should end up with balls about the size of a walnut.
  • Dip each ball in slightly beaten egg white, then roll in chopped walnuts, almonds or shredded coconut.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Make a dent in the center of each ball with a thimble, the back of a small measuring spoon or your finger.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are slightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and use the thimble (small measuring spoon or your finger) to make the dents deeper. Make sure to do this right after the cookies come out of the oven so they are still soft.
  • Fill the dents with a small scoop of jelly while the cookies are still hot. I use a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop out the jelly.
  • Cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove to wire rack until completely cold.
  • Store in an air tight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Notes

Sifting the flour before you measure it is very important to making shortbread that is fluffy and light.
Similarly, make sure you beat the butter and sugar well before adding other ingredients. The butter should be fluffy and the sugar should be dissolved into it. This is much easier to do if the buffer is room temperature when you start. If you forget to take it out of the refrigerator, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it.
Mixing the flour in by hand is another important step to prevent the cookies from being too tough.
Use a jam or jelly that isn't too runny, otherwise you will have trouble keeping it on the cookie.

Scroll down for even more Sweet Treats to make this holiday season!

Have comments or questions about our holiday shortbread thimble cookies? Tell us in the section below.

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