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Thumbprint Cookie Bars

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  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 1 hr 45 min
  • Servings 40
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So clever! These jam cookie bars are an easy twist off classic jam thumbprint cookies. We’ve taken everything we love about the cookies—the soft, buttery cookie and the jewel-tone jam centers—but made them so much easier when you make just one big pan, rather than making and baking batches of individual cookies. Use different flavors of jam for the thumbprint indentations, so everyone can pick cookies with their favorite flavor.
Updated Oct 22, 2023
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What are Thumbprint Cookie Bars??

Just like the classic thumbprint cookies, these thumbprint cookie bars have a buttery cookie base and sweet, jewel-toned jam centers. Made with cookie dough and cream cheese, they’re rich and tender. A sprinkling of white sparkling sugar adds just the right crunch and sparkle to these easy -to-make cookies.

Can thumbprint cookie bars be made in advance?

These yummy jam bar cookies are best made the day you’ll be serving them, so they are at their peak of freshness.

Why Does My First Jam Cookie Bar Always Break When Removing from the Pan?

We can run into that problem as well! It’s hard to get under the first cookie to lift it out easily. One way to avoid this is to line your pan with foil before baking, so that you can lift all the jam bar cookies out at once to cut them. Turn your pan upside down; form a piece of foil over the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove the foil; turn the pan upside right. Place the formed foil into the pan. Once the bars are cooled, lift the bars with the foil from the pan onto a cutting board. Fold down the sides, and the bars will be a cinch to cut!


  • 1 pouch (17.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon apricot, blueberry, seedless raspberry or strawberry jam


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • 2
    In large bowl, mix cookie mix, softened butter, cream cheese and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Spread dough evenly in bottom of pan; sprinkle sugar over top.
  • 3
    Bake 19 to 23 minutes or until light golden brown. Using end of wooden spoon, immediately make 40 (1/2-inch) indentations in baked bar (8 rows by 5 rows) without going through to bottom of pan. Clean off end of wooden spoon with paper towel as needed. Fill each opening with 1/4 teaspoon jam. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 4
    Cut bars into 8 rows by 5 rows so jam is in center of each piece. Remove bars from pan. Store covered in airtight container in single layer.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    This cookie bar is based on the popular Thumbprint Cookie, which were often called Thimble Cookies in older cookbooks because bakers used a thimble to make the indentation.
  • tip 2
    If you ensure both your butter and cream cheese are fully softened, the cookies will come together in minutes…you won’t even have to get out your mixer!
  • tip 3
    Coarse sparkling sugar adds extra sparkle to holiday cookies and can be found in the cake decorating section at most grocery stores.
  • tip 4
    These bars will cut the best if you wait until they are completely cooled.
  • tip 5
    Sparkling sugar is coarse sugar with a crystallized appearance. You can find it in the baking aisle of many larger grocery or discount stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pan is the best for jam bar cookies?

In Betty speak, when we say “pan”, we mean a metal pan, not a “dish”, which is a glass baking dish. Shiny pans without any kind of nonstick coating will give you the best looking (and eating) bars.

Is Sparkling Sugar Necessary for Thumbprint Cookie Bars?

Sparkling sugar isn’t critical to the recipe, but we highly encourage you use it. Not only does it add sparkle to these bars, but a little crunch too. Your mouth will certainly thank you for adding it!

Is there a gluten-free jam cookie bar recipe?

We don’t want to forget our gluten-free friends! Check out these amazing peanut butter and jam cookie bars, just for you!


90 Calories, 4g Total Fat, 0g Protein, 13g Total Carbohydrate, 8g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie Bar
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
2 1/2g
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Thumbprint cookies have been around for decades. We love this easy version, if you’re short on time. If you’re looking for the original cookies—we have those too! Looking for even more thumbprint cookies? Try our thumbprint collection, for pretty much any flavor combination under the sun.
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