Jam-Filled Butter Cookies, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on December 7, 2009

Today’s cookies bring together two of my favorite activities–baking and jam-making. As you already know, I am part of a group called Canning Across America, which is dedicated to reviving the art of canning, or putting by food. So, during the summer, I make a fair amount of jam–which is very easy. And, of course, I am an avid baker. So, these jam-filled cookies are a perfect combination of the two activities! Of course, you don’t need to use homemade jam–any jam you like is great for these cookies. I use raspberry most often, but I have been known to use apricot and strawberry, too. I don’t think you can go wrong with any choice you make!

There are many versions of this type of cookie. I based my recipe on one in my favorite cookie cookbook of all time, The International Cookie Cookbook, by Nancy Baggett. She is the author of several other cookbooks, including another amazing cookie cookbook, The All-American Cookie Book, which won the IACP Award.

In her book, Baggett indicates that this version of the recipe is from Hungary–where they are called Hussar’s Kisses (Huszarcsok). She doesn’t elaborate on why they have this nickname. I’ve done a little bit of digging and I can’t find a story. If you know, please let me know! Anyway, they are similar to the American “thumbprint” cookies, but are a more delicate. They can be accurately described as “melt-in-your-mouth” good!

Jam-Filled Butter Cookies, Gluten-Free
-adapted from The International Cookie Cookbook

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 C granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2/3 C raspberry jam (or any other jam you like)
Optional: 1/3 C slivered blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-grease or place parchment paper on cookie sheets
-in a small bowl, mix flour and salt
-in bowl of mixer, beat until light and fluffy
-add sugar, continue to beat
-add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition
-add vanilla, continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy
-add flour and mix until just incorporated
-pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into small balls–a little smaller than a ping pong ball
-place dough balls on cookie sheet about 1 1/2-2 inches apart

-make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your finger

-place in preheated oven and bake for about 9 minutes
-remove cookie sheet from oven and fill each indentation with a heaping 1/2 tsp jam

-if using almond slivers, sprinkle a few of these over the center of each cookie

-return baking sheet to oven and continue to bake for about 9 minutes longer, until the jam is starting to melt and the bottoms are a golden brown
-remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool


PS: Save your egg whites for tomorrow’s cookie–Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies!


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Elise January 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

I just made these (along with the meringue ones with the whites) and they came out delicious. I did not see the last comment about refrigerating the dough before working with it, I had a hard time working with it, but thank goodness my mom was helping me and by the end she had figured it out and the very last batch came out perfect! I just starting baking about a month ago, recently diagnosed celiac. I am so grateful for this site!


Jeanne January 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Elise: Yay! I’m so glad!


mel December 19, 2013 at 3:35 am

I am wondering if they really are better after a day or so and or what the shelf life is…planning to make for xmas and need to plan what day to bake them…help! I work in a gf bakery and know that many things have a shorter shelf life so trying to be strategic, thanks!!


Jeanne December 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

Mel: These are nice the day after. Store them at room temperature (not in fridge).


mel December 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks. How long do you think they stay fresh? (I make about 600 Xmas cookies so need to be strategic with which get baked when)


Jeanne December 22, 2013 at 12:06 am

Mel: I think 3ish days would be fine.


sabine December 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

I made these cookies yesterday and they came out delicious! They actually were the first gluten free cookies I made that weren’t sandy at all :)


Jeanne December 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

Sabine: Yay!


Becky January 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I made these several weeks ago and they were delicious! My husband bought me a jar of allergy-safe jam for Christmas – not an easy feat for me and I knew I just HAD to make thumbprint cookies!

I used my own flour mixture – white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum – as it was all I had. It worked great!

I will say that there are a things I learned for the next time (this weekend if I can find the time!). One would be to refrigerate the dough for a bit before balling and baking. I froze 1/2 or my dough because I just didn’t need too many cookies all to myself! The remaining dough was then transfered to the fridge for a day and it was much easier to work with than the original 1/2. I did need to add a little flour to my hands (same mixture). The other thing I learned is that these cookies tasted better after they’ve sat on the counter (in a tupperware) for a few days. I actually feel like they got better with age! Odd, I know. Now, to figure out how to keep myself from eating them right away the next time! ;)


Jeanne January 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Becky: Yay! Thanks for sharing your experiences!


Pam December 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I already have a gf flour blend I am very happy with and do not want mulitple blends…to much to deal with and I could see me pulling the wrong one out. It calls for brown rice, potatoe starch, and tapioca flour. Can I use this mixture to make your cookies? I know using sweet rice flour in baking cookies is common. I don’t know how to convert can you please help?

This is the first time I have visited this website and became aware of it after looking at your cookbook at Barnes & Noble over the weekend. I am very interested. Thank you!


Jeanne December 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

Pam: I think your mix would work fine with the recipes in my book and on my site. Just be sure that it has about 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour. Happy baking!


Debbie Brown June 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Can candied cherries be used instead of the jam for the jam-filled butter cookies?


admin June 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Debbie: I’m guessing they would be fine. I would try them and see!


Jeannine May 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

My daughter just made these cookies tonight. They are AMAZING!
These taste better than the gluten ones. Definitely making these again.
Thank you so much for this web site. Everything we have made from here has been Awesome.


admin May 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Jeannine: Yay! I’m so glad! Thanks for letting me know!


Michaela March 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I made these today with my boyfriend– they are DELICIOUS! We found that we needed to use more vanilla extract (but I find that is the case for most things I make, I guess I’m just an uber-vanilla kind of gal!) and we also added Chia seeds, for a little extra health boost! We are new to the gluten free way– especially baking, so I had two questions for our future batches: we had trouble getting these into formed balls (we ended up doing “drops” on the cookie sheet) and they ended up being pretty delicate– are these normal to run into? I know that gluten free baking can be different.
By the way, I really love your site! Thanks for blogging so many great recipes! This was my first from your site and I have to be honest– this was the first “normal” tasting baked good I’ve had since being gf. I was ECSTATIC! I can’t wait to try more!!!
Thanks again!


admin March 7, 2012 at 8:02 am

Michaela: Yay! To answer your question, yes–these are very delicate cookies, so your experience is normal. Also, I would refrigerate the dough for a bit of time to get it cold enough to form into balls. And I’m so glad the site is helpful! Yay!


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