Every year, I have grand visions of making a bakery-worthy display of elaborate holiday cookies using a candy thermometer, piping bag — the whole deal. But inevitably, the holiday crush, well, crushes those aspirations. So this year I’m embracing super easy thumbprint cookie recipes, because it turns out you can dress them up in all your favorite holiday flavors without making them any harder to make.

The best part? Kids can serve in the essential thumb-mashing role when you get ready to bake. Because let’s face it: those little fingers are going to get into the dough one way or another, amirite?

Top: Chocolate Tahini Thumbprint Cookies | Jessi’s Kitchen

Related: The best holiday cookie recipes for people who don’t love to bake. 


Holiday thumbprint cookies: Peppermint Kiss Thumbprint Cookies | Le Creme de la Crumb

Okay, so I’m not normally a let’s-throw-candy-on-top-of-the-cookies kind of mom, but these Peppermint Kiss Thumbprint Cookies at Le Creme de la Crumb grabbed me with their undeniable holiday cheer. And, hey, it’s Christmas, right?


Holiday thumbprint cookies: Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies | The Pretend Baker

I love that The Pretend Baker updates this recipe for her Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies by using buttery shortbread instead of traditional sugar cookie dough. Plus, kids can help roll the dough balls in chopped nuts. Fun!

Related: The best substitutes for allergy-friendly holiday baking. 


Holiday thumbprint cookies: Chocolate Tahini Thumbprint Cookies | Jessi's Kitchen

If you’re looking for a sophisticated take on the thumbprint cookie, try these Chocolate Tahini Thumbprint Cookies at Jessi’s Kitchen. I’m dying to sample the chocolate tahini fudge topping. Plus, once you’ve given the ingredients a quick spin in the food processor, these beauties are no harder to make than the easy originals you’re used to.


Holiday thumbprint cookies: Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies | Sugar Spun Run

I don’t necessarily associate peanut butter with Christmas, but I’m making an exception for these glorious-looking Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies. The peanut butter fudge cooks up in your microwave to make this recipe as manageable as it is decadent. Thanks, Sugar Spun Run, for the recipe!


Holiday thumbprint cookies: Mint Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | Marsha's Baking Addiction

If you’re looking for a cookie that’s more Andes mint than candy cane, try these Mint Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies at Marsha’s Baking Addiction. Marsha uses peppermint extract in the cookies and the frosting, so you’re in for something totally refreshing — and totally delicious.

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