Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Vanilla Bean Sugar and Peachey’s Peach Jam

Thumbprint cookies are really just a rich shortbread dough shaped and pressed either with your thumb, the back of a spoon, or the fat, rounded bottom of a thick-handled wooden spoon to make a well for jam. The Salt Table’s Vanilla Sugar is ideal for flavoring both the dough and the sugar that’s used to coat them before baking.

You can use just about any jam that suits you, but we’ve used our favorite Georgia-grown Peachey’s Peach Jam.

Makes about 30 (2½ dozen) cookies


  • 8 ounces (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons The Salt Table Vanilla Bean Sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon The Salt Table Fine Sea or Himalayan Salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, for coating
  • About ½ cup Peachey’s Peach (or Blackberry or Cherry) Jam, at room temperature

How to make it:

  1. Cream the butter until fluffy and light and blend in the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla sugar. Blend in the egg yolk. Whisk or sift together the flour and salt. Gradually work it into the butter and sugar mixture to form a fairly stiff dough. Cover and let it rest 15-20 minutes.
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Blend together the remaining tablespoon of Vanilla Sugar with the granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop round tablespoons of the dough onto the parchment, then with your hands roll them into an even ball. Roll each ball of dough in the granulated sugar and lay them on the parchment, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  3. Using your thumb or the back of a round ½-teaspoon measuring spoon, press a well into the center of each cookie. When all the cookies are rolled, shaped, and pressed, refrigerate them until the dough is very firm, at least 30 minutes.
  4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Put the jam in a shallow bowl and stir until it’s smooth and soft enough to spoon. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and spoon enough jam into each imprint to fill it even with the top (about ½ teaspoon).
  5. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom and beginning to color at the edges, about 12-15 minutes. Cool them in the pan on a wire cooling rack before storing in airtight tins with parchment paper between each layer.


Suggested Seasonings

Vanilla Bean Sugar