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
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 142kcal


  • 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)


  • 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.


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.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.3g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 30.7mg | Sodium: 41.1mg | Sugar: 3.3g