These festive Maple Thumbprint Cookies combine buttery cookies with a sweet, maple-flavored icing. Perfect for your holiday cookie platter or for bake sales, gifts, and cookie exchanges. In just 30 minutes, you can make this elegant and tasty dessert yourself!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
If you're looking to diversify your holiday cookie collection this year, you have to try this maple thumbprint cookies recipe! They're so simple to make and provide a seasonal twist on classic thumbprint cookies with the delicious maple flavor.
With basic pantry ingredients and just half an hour, you can have a perfect batch of these festive treats. They're perfect for cookie swaps, to give out as gifts, or just to enjoy with family during the holidays.
And if you love the flavor of maple, try this Maple Bacon Waffle Ice Cream Cake, a decadently sweet recipe that's perfect for dessert (or breakfast if you really want!).
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- butter - unsalted butter is the way to go here, as you'll be adding salt.
- sugar - makes your cookies sweet.
- egg yolks - using just the yolks will lead to cookies that are more tender and rich.
- maple extract - infuses the cookies with maple flavor.
- salt - balances out the sweetness.
- powdered sugar - serves as the base for the icing.
- flour - I used all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- maple syrup - you'll use this to make the tasty maple icing.
- Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add egg yolks, maple extract, and salt, then combine.
- Add the flour and mix until large crumbs form, then finish mixing with your hands until a dough forms.
- Place dough in tablespoon-size balls about ½ inch apart on a baking sheet.
- Make a depression with your thumb in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, then allow to cool.
6. Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, and some water.
7. Use extra water to thin out the icing if it's too thick.
8. Transfer to a piping bag and fill the cookies once they're cool and allow the icing to set.
Fill your cookies after baking. If you put the icing on beforehand, it will get hot and thin out in the oven and run everywhere. You want to allow the cookies to come up to room temperature so the icing actually sets.
This happens when the fat to flour ratio is off and typically means there isn't enough flour. Make sure you're measuring out your flour accurately, and if you find the dough still spreads and flattens, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the dough.
About 2 to 3 weeks when stored properly in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag.
Yes! They'll last up to 3 months in the freezer. Be sure to let them sit out on the counter to come back up to room temperature before eating.
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- Try not to overfill your cookies. The icing will settle and it may look like more than you realize during the filling process.
- You can use a toothpick to shape the icing into a prettier circle if you're looking for those clean edges.
- The back of a teaspoon can be used to make the impressions if you don't want to use your thumb.
- Larger cookies can be made from this recipe--just be sure to adjust baking time.
- The impressions will rise slightly as the cookies bake, so be sure to make them deep enough.
- These cookies will cool right on the pan, no need to break out the wire rack!
If you've always wondered how to make thumbprint cookies, here's your guide! The icing in the middle can be substituted for a variety of other fillings, but this maple icing is a tasty and seasonal option.
- Use raspberry jam or apricot jam in the center of these shortbread cookies instead of icing. When making thumbprint cookies with jam, you may want to add the jam prior to baking.
- For other flavor combinations, try using vanilla extract or almond extract in the cookie dough.
- If you like them extra sweet, roll your balls of dough in some granulated sugar before baking.
- Another great way to decorate these cookies is to roll them in some sprinkles or candies before baking.
🍪 Suggested Cookie Recipes
If you're a lover of unique and tasty cookies, here are a couple of other great suggestions for cookies to make for the holidays this year (or any time). 3 Ingredient No Bake Cookies are perfect for customization, Sesame Cookies with Pretzels are sweet and salty cookies that melt in your mouth, and these Easy Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies conjure up the image of a roaring campfire and a starlit night without having to leave your kitchen!
🎅🏼 More Holiday Recipes You'll Love
- Christmas Pretzels - These easy pretzels make for a perfect edible gift.
- Chocolate Covered Potato Chips - Make chips from scratch and dip them in yummy chocolate, then decorate for whatever holiday you like.
- Elf Nibbles - A sweet and salty snack mix worthy to be served at Santa's workshop!
- Christmas Cupcakes - These adorably festive cupcakes from Preppy Kitchen would be a fun activity to make with kids and family during the Christmas season.
Thumbprint Cookies Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
Maple Thumbprint Cookies Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature, ⅔ cup sugar
- Add the egg yolks, maple extract, and salt. Beat until full combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon maple extract, 1 teaspoon salt
- Add the flour and beat until the mixture forms large crumbs. (If you aren't getting large crumbs, add a little more flour and mix until you do.) Then knead with your hands until the dough is easily rolled into a ball.2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- Roll 1 tablespoon portions of the dough into balls and place on the baking sheet, about ½ inch apart.
- Using your thumb, make a deep impression in the middle of each ball. Bake for 10 minutes until the bottoms start to brown slightly.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and water. If the icing becomes too thick, add a little extra water to thin it. You should be able to feel a little resistance when stirring but it shouldn't be completely stiff.2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons water
- Place the icing in a frosting bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Use it to fill each cookie impression with the icing by starting in the middle and filling in to the edges with a circular motion.
- Allow the cookie to sit for a few minutes for the icing to set.
- Don’t overfill the impressions. The icing will settle on its own and may look like more than you realize when filling.
- Use a toothpick to adjust the icing into place, if need be. I used it to ensure the edges were all filled in to get that pretty and perfect circle.
- If you don’t want to use your thumb, try using a ½ teaspoon (the back of it) to make the impressions.
- If you create larger cookies, use more dough for each cookie and be sure to adjust the cooking time. These cookies are about 2 inches in size.
- Be sure to make your impression deep enough as it will rise just a touch during the baking process and might disappear if made too shallow.
- There’s no need to move these cookies to a cooling rack once they’re pulled from the oven.
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