These almond thumbprint cookies have a delicate shortbread texture and are filled with dark chocolate and sea salt. Tasty treats that are ready in 40 minutes!
Looking for more festive baking ideas? Take a look at our Christmas Dessert Recipe Collection.
I have tried to fight the Christmas cookie obsession that has swept through Pinterest but in vain. It’s not going away.
It seems cookies is what people want. That’s what my kids want. And there is no way I would turn down a good cookie with my afternoon cup of tea.
I am not one for overly sweet, fudgy, dripping with chocolate and caramel things. I am ALL about savoury treats. When it’s dessert time I feel like going for another piece of chicken!
But these cookies…oh these cookies. Soft. Buttery. Fragrant with almond. Filled with chocolate. Filled with dulce de leche. Pure loveliness.
These little beauties are a sophisticated take on jam thumbprint cookies which also happens to be one of my favourite Christmas treats.
Thumbprint cookies need no formal introduction. Nearly everyone enjoys them around the holidays. They are fairly easy to make and come in a variety of flavours.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is filled with raspberry jam. So delicious! This time I decided to change things up and bring out the big guns. Chocolate with a tiny pinch of flaked sea salt.
This recipe was adapted from Food52. Here are the things I changed. I rolled them in ground almonds before baking for more intense almond flavour. I also added orange zest to the dough.
Orange and chocolate are a classic Christmas pairing. My family adores this Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Tart, so I decided to try the flavour combo one more time.
I was absolutely thrilled with what I got in the end. Not only were the cookies delicious they were also a joy to look at! Don’t you think sea salt looks like pure crystals?
Recipe Tips and Notes
- This cookie recipe is very similar to shortbread. It uses a combination of flour and ground almonds for a light texture and a beautiful almond flavour. It is also very buttery and therefore, fragile. So if you are transporting these cookies over the festive season, freeze them first.
- Make sure you cream the butter with the sugar and zest until it’s very light in texture. If the butter is not sufficiently whipped, the dough will be dry.
- I rolled my cookies in ground almonds to intensify the almond flavour but you can roll them in fine/caster sugar instead.
- Even though the cookies are called thumbprint, I actually find it easier to make the indentation with a teaspoon. Because of the delicate texture of these cookies, you will partially lose the wells you created in the process of baking. I recommend taking the cookies out after 10 minutes and pressing lightly on the centre one more time.
- You can also use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
These cookies freeze brilliantly, so if you are organised enough to do your Christmas baking early, these are for you. Keep them in an airtight container for up to three months. Place a layer of parchment paper between layers to prevent them from freezing together.
You can also store them unfrozen for up to a week in an airtight container. No need to refrigerate as room temperature is fine.
More Christmas treats
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Chocolate Fridge Cake Bars
- Canadian Butter Tarts
- Coconut Meringue Kisses with Mascarpone Cream
- Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate and Sea Salt
- 280 g / 2 cups flour
- 160 g / 1 ½ cups ground almonds plus ½ cup for rolling
- 100 g / ½ cup sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- 250 g / 8oz butter unsalted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g g /5 oz dark chocolate chopped
- 1 tbsp golden syrup or corn syrup
- 3 tbsp butter unsalted
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- In a large bowl cream butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, add vanilla and mix well.
- With a motor of a stand mixer still running add slowly add flour and ground almonds, continue mixing until smooth dough forms.
- Form cookies by rolling little pieces of dough in your hands and then roll them in ground almonds.
- Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and make an indentation in the centre of each ball with your thumb or a teaspoon.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then take the cookies out of the oven and check if the thumbprints on your cookies have become too shallow. If that is the case, gently push on them with a teaspoon.
- Bake for additional 5-7 minutes until the edges of the cookies are slightly coloured.
- Meanwhile melt your chopped chocolate with butter and golden syrup in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and fill half of them with chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cool on a wire rack.