If you’re looking for a fresh and fruity addition to your cookie spread- check out this Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies recipe! These cookies are a delicious combination of buttery shortbread and tangy homemade lemon curd, creating a treat that’s perfect for any occasion. To help you master this recipe, I’ve packed this post with tips, tricks, and ways to make it your own.
Ingredients For Lemon Curd Cookies:
For the Buttery Shortbread Cookies:
- Unsalted butter, softened
- Powdered sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Lemon juice or extract
- Egg yolk
- Zest of one lemon
For the Tangy Homemade Lemon Curd (you can also use store bought!)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Unsalted butter
- Egg yolks
Supplies needed for Lemon Thumbprint Cookies:
- Cookie Sheet
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer
- Small saucepan for the lemon curd
- Medium sized bowl and spatula
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. add the egg yolk, lemon zest, and lemon juice- mixing until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the flour and mix. The dough may seem a bit crumbly at first but it will come together.
Scoop dough into one inch balls using a small cookie scoop or measuring spoon and place on a prepared baking sheet. Use your thumb or the back of knife or spoon to make an indent in the center of each cookie. Spoon about a teaspoon of lemon curd filling into each one.
Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 10 minutes and drizzle a simple lemon glaze on top of the curd.
On the subject of Lemon Curd:
You can of course make your own Lemon Curd like I did. My favorite lemon curd recipe is here. Otherwise it will still be amazing if you use storebought lemon curd. (Trader joes has a good one!)
Tips for Perfect Lemon Curd Cookies:
Perfecting the Cookie Dough:
- Ensure your butter is softened to room temperature for a creamy texture.
- Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements, especially for flour, to achieve the ideal cookie consistency.
Shaping and Baking Tips:
- Use a silicone mat or parchment paper on your baking sheet for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking.
- For uniform cookies, scoop the same amount of each cookie and use the back of a spoon for consistent “thumbprint” shapes.
- For a chewier cookie, slightly underbake, aiming for a pale golden color around the edges.
Tips for Making Lemon Curd:
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy to create a light and airy lemon curd.
- Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan for even heat distribution during the cooking process.
- Stir the lemon curd continuously to prevent burning and achieve a velvety smooth texture.
Filling the Thumbprint Cookies:
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them set and maintain their structure.
- If you’re feeling creative, experiment with different-sized thumbprints to figure out how much lemon curd you like in each cookie. I also love filling them with different jams and curds I have on hand.
Storage and Serving Suggestions:
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week to maintain their freshness. (I also have chilled them in the fridge to make them last a little longer.)
- Freeze cookie dough balls for a quick and convenient baking session whenever the craving strikes.
- Experiment with different citrus flavors for a unique twist on the classic recipe. I also like making the dough with almond flavoring and raspberry jam!
Other favorite cookie recipes:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1/2 cup lemon curd or other jam/preserves of choice
For the Icing:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Lemon juice
- In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and powdered sugar.
- Add in the egg yolk and extracts and cream until smooth.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Dough will appear crumbly but should come together into a nice ball when you gather it all together with your hands.
- Use a small scoop to portion 1/2 inch rolled dough balls and distribute evenly on a cookie sheet. (These cookies don't spread much.)
- Use your thumb or the bottom of a rounded wooden spoon to make an indentation in the middle of each cookie.
- Pipe or spoon lemon curd or other filling inside the cookies.
- Bake at 325F for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are firm and just barely turning golden.
- In a small bowl mix together the icing ingredients, adding more liquid or powdered sugar as needed for desired consistency.
- Cookies can be stored at room temperature for 3-5 days in an airtight container or 7-10 days in the fridge.