A classic cookie gets a seasonal update in these Snickerdoodle Thumbprint Cookies recipe. Traditional soft and chewy snickerdoodles are rolled in a sugar-cinnamon mixture, and then an indent in the center of the cookie is filled with creamy pumpkin butter for an irresistible fall treat.
It’s that time of year when you will be seeing a new cookie recipe from me quite frequently. But before we jump full-on into Christmas cookies, the holiday season I am ready to focus on is Thanksgiving and of course fall and pumpkin season in general. These Snickerdoodle Thumbprints fit nicely, don’t you think?
Snickerdoodle Thumbprint Cookies
Soft and fluffy snickerdoodles coated in cinnamon sugar are simple and easy to prepare. They have become one of my go-to cookies. It’s pumpkin time of year so with a jar of pumpkin butter in the fridge, it was a no-brainer to turn these cookies into pumpkin thumbprint snickerdoodles. It is the perfect way to add a seasonal touch and some creaminess to a classic Snickerdoodle cookie.
Perfect for family get-togethers, potlucks, bake sales, a Christmas cookie exchange, or just when you need a treat, these snickerdoodle thumbprint cookies can easily be made ahead of time and stored for a few days. Make a double batch and stash half in the freezer or with Halloween not too far off, save some for the kids.
There are a few theories floating around as to why we call this cookie a Snickerdoodle. Some say the word comes from the German for Schnecke Knödel which translates into “snail dumpling.” The thinking is German immigrants baked a similar type of cookie that evolved into what we have today. The other theory assumes the word is Dutch, again it is the name of a Dutch cookie that may also have evolved into what we have today. However, no matter where or how these cookies came to be, I’m sure you’ll agree they will definitely be a family favorite.
Ingredients for this Snickerdoodle Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe.
- Butter – I used salted butter, softened, but unsalted butter also works.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar sweetens up these cookies.
- Egg Yolks – I used only egg yolks. Store the whites in the fridge and use them for meringue or add them to an omelet.
- Vanilla – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works well in these cookies.
- Sugar + cinnamon -White sugar and cinnamon are used to roll the cookies in.
- Pumpkin Butter – Check out my easy homemade pumpkin butter recipe!
How to make Snickerdoodle thumbprint cookies
These cookies come together quite easily.
First step: In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
Second step: Mix in the egg yolks and the vanilla until combined. Mix in flour until incorporated. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
Third step: Refrigerate and chill dough for one hour. While the cookies are in the fridge combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Fourth step: Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop. Roll balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place dough balls about 2” apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Fifth step: Using your finger or the back of a rounded measuring spoon, a small measuring spoon would work well, press an indention into the center of the cookies. (Make sure to repair any cracks around the edges of cookies and keep the cookies round).
Sixth step: Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes. Cookies will feel set to the touch, but will not brown. Cool on wire racks.
Seventh step: Fill the top of each cookie with pumpkin butter before serving.
Transfer cookies to an airtight container and store them on the kitchen counter for 3-4 days. If you find your kitchen is warm or humid it is best to place the cookies in the fridge. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
Love it? Pin it!
If you love this Snickerdoodle thumbprint cookie, make sure you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
FAQs about Thumbprint Cookies
- Why do my thumbprint cookies spread so much? If your thumbprint cookies spread, it could be because they were not refrigerated long enough. Refrigerating the cookies hardens the butter. When the cookies go in the oven, the butter starts to melt which causes the cookies to spread out. The key to not having the cookies spread too much is hardened butter.
- Why are my thumbprint cookies falling apart? If you find your cookies falling apart it could be because there is too much flour. Make sure to accurately measure the flour. Fill the measuring cup with flour and then use a knife to level off any excess. Cookies that fall apart could also be a sign of overmixing the batter. I know it’s tempting, but mix just until everything is combined.
- Why are they called thumbprint cookies? These cookies are called thumbprint cookies because we make an indentation in them by using our thumbs. This indentation is where we can fill the cookies with jam or in this case pumpkin butter.
Remember that when it comes to substituting recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!
Instead of pumpkin butter use peanut butter or any nut butters, raspberry jam, or your favorite jam or jelly, just a teaspoon of jam is all you’ll need.
Make Snickerdoodle Caramel Thumbprint Cookies by using a caramel in the center.
For gluten-free cookies, use a 1-1 gluten-free flour.
Tips & Tricks
Let the butter and eggs come to room temperature before you begin preparing the cookies.
To separate the eggs, crack them and pour the egg back and forth between the two shells over a bowl. The whites should drip down into the bowl. Place the whites in a container and store them in the fridge to use later.
Don’t use an ungreased cookie sheet as the cookies will stick. Line with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
More Cookie Recipes to Love
If you love thumbprint cookies, you need to try my Almond Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies (pictured above). They are one of my family’s favorite cookies – like little pastries. Yum! Or enjoy one of these: Strawberry Thumbprints, Lemon Thumbprints, Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints, Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, or these Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies.
More Cookie Recipes to Love:
With simple ingredients, these snickerdoodle thumbprint cookies come together quite easily, and with their chewy texture and creamy pumpkin filling they are bound to be a new family favorite.
- ⅔ cup salted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ⅓ cup sugar +1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, mixed for rolling
- Pumpkin Butter - for filling the centers of the cookies
- In the bowl of your mixer cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Mix in the egg yolks and the vanilla until combined.
- Mix in flour until incorporated.
- Refrigerate for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Shape dough into balls. About 1” in diameter. Roll dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place dough balls about 2 “ apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Using your finger or a small measuring spoon press an indention into the center of the cookie. (make sure to repair any cracks and keep the cookies round)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, cookies will feel set to the touch but will not brown.
- Cool on wire racks.
- Fill with pumpkin butter before serving.
Transfer leftover cookies to an airtight container and store them on the kitchen counter for 3-4 days. If you find your kitchen is warm or humid it is best to place the cookies in the fridge. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
Want to make these cookies, but don't have pumpkin butter on hand? Try filling the center with caramel, or a cinnamon buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Also delicious with apple butter or apple jam.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.