Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies with Kumquat Marmalade


  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g)  salted softened butter
  • ⅔ cup (80 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • 2½ cups (300 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • kumquat marmalade (or any other jam of your choice)


15-20 cookies

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cooking Time

30 minutes




  • Preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC).
  • Using handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer beat together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until well incorporated scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. The mixture should look creamy and smooth.
  • Add 2 egg yolks and vanilla; mix until well blended. On low speed, gradually start adding flour Midway through you would want to stop using an electric mixer and switch to a wooden a wooden spoon or a spatula to continue incorporating flour into the mixture. Continue mixing until the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or with a tablespoon making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts measure enough dough to roll into small ball shapes. This is important for evenly baked cookies. In order to make sure that the cookies were equal I decided to use a kitchen scale. The portions of about 30 grams proved to be perfect for each cookie.  
  • Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve small rounded balls. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 1½ inches (4 cm) apart. With index finger, or in my case the back of the small measuring teaspoon, make imprints into the center of each dough ball. Spoon a small amount of jam of your choice into the center of each dough ball.
  • Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Do not overbake.
  • Once done, take the cookies from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes on a baking tray. After transfer them from the baking tray to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
  • Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.
  • Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. You can store cookies for up to 2-3 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.

Best enjoyed with a cup of tea!

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