Italian Thumbprint Cookies are made using delicious fig spread and crunchy almonds. Experience classic Italian flavors in this updated traditional thumbprint cookie recipe.
Italian Thumbprint Cookies may just be your new favorite recipe. Made with delicious fig jam and rolled in crushed almonds, this cookie really hits all of the flavor notes.
I used to make this cookie with my nonna. I have updated it slightly, not being able to make my own homemade fig jam, but essentially it is the same as it was then. Pure cookie perfection!
I love that this cookie is simple enough for everyday, yet elegant enough to entertain with. This is also a great recipe to have on hand for a cookie exchange.
The fig spread I use for these cookies tastes nearly as good at the jam nonna used to make. I personally love the Dalmatia Fig Spread available on Amazon. Use the leftover spread for toast, bruschetta, or as a glaze for ham.
The other key ingredient for this cookie is Almond Extract. However, if you don’t have it on hand, vanilla extract would be a good substitute.
Italian Thumbprint Cookies are rolled in crushed almonds and coarse raw sugar. You could substitute whatever nuts your prefer (walnuts or macadamia nuts would be great) and plain sugar would work as well. I have also used crushed pistachios with great results.
Sweet, crunchy, and oh so satisfying, this recipe is sure to become one of your favorites for every occasion!
Love Italian dessert? Be sure to check out my Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake which is another easy-to-make treat with so much flavor. And, don’t miss these authentic Italian Pignoli Cookies made with almond paste and pine nuts or the classic Italian Anise Cookies. For a classic favorite, check out these Lemon Ricotta Cookies!
Italian Thumbprint Cookies with Fig Spread and Almonds
Note that this recipe makes only a dozen cookies. However, the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled with the same excellent results.
Firstly, you want to cream together the butter and brown sugar. I recommend using a handheld mixer or stand up mixer if you are making a larger batch.
Next, add in the egg yolk (save the white) and almond extract and beat for an additional minute. Stir in the flour and salt. Also, the fact that there is no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe is not a typo! This cookie rises perfectly without these additions.
Chill the dough for a couple of minutes or until you can easily roll into a ball. Meanwhile, chop the almonds and gently whisk the egg white for dipping.
Working in an assembly line, roll the dough into a ball, dip it in the egg white, then toss in the almond and sugar mixture. Place on a lined cookie sheet.
Use your thumb to made an indentation in the center of the cookie. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and carefully spoon a heaping teaspoon of fig spread into the middle of the cookies. Don’t worry if it doesn’t spread perfectly. You can fix this once the cookie is done baking.
Lastly, return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes or until the cookie is set. Let cool for at least 10 minutes on cookie sheet before placing on wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!
More Tasty Cookie Recipes
The BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe! Soft and chewy, you are going to love this easy recipe.
Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies are for the serious chocolate lovers out there.
Cover all bases with these Pretzel M&M Oatmeal Cookies. Salty and sweet for the perfect cookie bite.
Please comment below if you try this recipe and let me know what you think!
Italian Thumbprint Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg, separated
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup almonds, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw coarse sugar
- ½ cup fig spread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking pad. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add in the egg yolk and almond extract and beat for another minute. Fold in the flour and salt and mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls.
- Roll the dough into 12 equal-sized balls. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg white until frothy. In a separate bowl, stir together the chopped almonds and raw sugar. Dip one of the dough balls into the egg white and then roll in almond mixture to coat. Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining balls.
- Use your thumb or a spoon to gently press the middle of the cookie down so that the cookie spreads and there is a slight indentation in the middle.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon about a teaspoon of fig spread into the center of the cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until cookie is light golden in color. Cool on baking rack before moving to wire rack to cool completely.
I’ve made this many times. Takes a little longer in my oven cuz I roll bigger balls for bigger cookies. Absolutely love them. Also get the orange flavored fig jam. So delicious and so many compliments when I serve them.
Made with fig, delicious. Can you substitute fig for another jam?
Absolutely! Use any jam you like. So happy you enjoyed them 🙂
excellent recipe!! I use the fig jam i made. just processed it to make it another. You will not be disappointed if u make this.! thanks for the recipe!
So happy you liked them! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Love these ! Second time making them . Great recipe .
Do you have to use raw sugar
regular sugar works!
Very good, surprisingly took much longer to bake.
I have the same fig spread and wanted to use it before expiration date so I looked up cookie recipes and came across yours and it looked great. So I’m chilling the dough and have everything ready to scoop, dip and roll in mixture. Cant wait to try the finished cookie. It will be a new addition to my holiday cookies for sure. Thank you for an easy and delicious looking recipe.
Thanks for the comment. Hope you loved them!
Hi Angela I made these cookies and they are a favorite What a great recipe and will be making them within the next two weeks for Christmas Thank you for sharing a wonderful Italian cookie recipe.
Today is my nieces birthday and she had asked me at Christmas time if I would make some for her birthday because I made them for Christmas and she just love them so much thank you for sharing your amazing recipes👍
I’m so happy to hear that your niece loved the cookies! Thanks for the comment 🙂
This is my new favorite cookie recipe. I made them for my father for Father’s Day (it’s tomorrow!) and I know he’ll be delighted. Thanks so much for sharing.
I am so happy you loved it! 🙂
Can i replace flour with almond flour? How are the proportions?
I’ve never made this entirely with almond flour. Having baked with almond flour before, I know that you will need to increase the amount used since it yields are wetter batter. Let me know how it goes for you.
Has anyone frozen the dough for later use?
You can absolutely freeze and use later. Just thaw in the refrigerator a day in advance. Enjoy!
I absolutely loved these! I had made up some fig jam (https://www.afamilyfeast.com/small-batch-fig-jam/ – not affiliated just a lovely recipe) and was trying to figure out some creative uses for it. I had ground almonds on hand and these were wonderful.
That’s great! So happy you loved them 🙂
Can they be frozen and if so before or after filling
You can definitely freeze these. I usually fill mine and them freeze them flat. Enjoy!
So Angela, the recipe calls for “blind baking” the cookie before filling. If you make the cookies and freeze them for future baking, you miss that step. How does it effect the cookie?
You can bake the cookie, freeze, then fill later. Or you can put the whole cookie together then freeze. Either way will work.
These are soooo delicious! They taste like a pastry you would get at a New York City bakery.
So happy you loved them! 🙂
I will be making these cookies today for Christmas. They look great.
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them 🙂
Do you have a good recipe for a lemon ricotta cookie?
I do! Check out my Limoncello Ricotta Cookie (you can sub lemon juice) https://thisdelicioushouse.com/limoncello-ricotta-cookies/
Does one use raw Almonds?
Yes. Use raw almond, crushed, to coat the outside of the cookie.
My grandsons and I made 2 of your recipes today; all the cookies were excellent. I will never use a recipe other than yours, for the thumbprint
and the oatmeal/raisen. Tomorrow I will try a few more. So much fun making cookies which look and taste good. Thank you.
Oh my goodness! This made my day. So happy you loved the recipes. Let me know how the rest of them go 🙂
Fig is one of my absolute favorites to eat! Love how you put the spread in these cookies!
These look so tasty! I love figs.
Going to try these recipes as almond and lemon are my favorite flavours. Also the fish cookies. Love finding new baking websites.
These are THE cutest cookies ever! They remind me of Chinese almond cookies, which I absolutely adore. I’d love to try these out too!
What a tasty recipe! I absolutely love fig jam but had never thought of using it on thumbprint cookies. Great idea!