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Grinch Thumbprint Cookies

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious, buttery shortbread cookie with sweet green filling then topped with a red heart sprinkle. These Grinch Christmas cookies are perfect for the holiday season and will get everyone into the Christmas spirit!

Grinch Thumbprint Cookiestop view of a pile in a bowl.

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies

 

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies are perfect holiday treats for homemade Christmas gifts, cookie exchanges and (of course) family movie night!

The Grinch Stole Christmas is always one of our favorite Christmas movies! When the Christmas season rolls around, we love to put together a fun Dr. Seuss Grinch movie night. Watch your favorite version of The Grinch Stole Christmas and see the Grinch’s small heart grow 3 times in size as he becomes full of Christmas love.

It’s the story that teaches the true meaning of Christmas and deserves it’s own fun holiday party. Create a full-on Grinch themed movie night or Christmas party with these Grinch Thumbprint Cookies and add a few more sweet treats like these Grinch Pretzels, adorably cute Grinch Oreo Balls and these Grinch Hot Chocolate Bombs for a warm cup of cocoa.

Good news! You can browse all of our fun Grinch Recipes right here so you can mix and match the ones you like most.

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies on a white plate. Three stacked and one leaning against the stack showing the front of the cookie.

 

Why You’ll Love Grinch Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas thumbprint cookies are always yummy, but when you make them with a Grinch theme they’re extra fun!

  • Perfect for a Christmas cookie exchange, these cute Grinch Thumbprint Cookies will really stand out.
  • Make a great gift for family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers – everyone loves homemade cookies!
  • Colorful and festive cookies, making them an ideal addition to your cookie tray at Christmas parties.
  • These baked cookies are quick and easy. You probably have all these simple ingredients in your pantry.
  • Delightful buttery thumbprint cookies you’ll enjoy year after year.

More Grinch Treats To Love

Here’s just a few of our yummy Grinch recipes:

Grinch Sugar Cookies: soft and chewy green cookies with a little heart.

Grinch Cupcakes: with red vanilla melting wafers baked in, these taste amazing with every single bite.

Grinch Dip: a creamy, sweet, green cake mix dunkaroo style dip for cookies and fruit topped with red candy hearts.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium Bowls
  • Spatula or Whisk (to combine dry ingredients)
  • Large Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Wooden Spoon (to make the thumbprint)
  • Tablespoon or a Piping Bag

Top view of a Large clear bowl full of Grinch Thumbprint Cookies and a plate with a few cookies.

 

Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to make Grinch Thumbprint Cookies:

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 CUP SALTED BUTTER (room temperature): Salted butter adds the buttery and savory flavor that balances out the sweetness. Make sure it is softened, making it easier to cream butter.
  • 1/4 CUP SUGAR: Adds sweetness we love and aids in browning, which gives the cookies a delightful golden color on the outside. I’m using Sugar Cane as I love the flavor, but regular sugar works well too.
  • 1/4 TEASPOON SALT: Balance the sweetness in the cookie, adds texture and acts as a preservative, helping to extend the shelf life of the cookies. I’m using pink salt, but regular salt works perfectly too.
  • 1 EGG YOLK: Egg yolks binds cookie dough together and adds richness to the flavor. We’ll only need 1 yolk for this easy recipe.
  • 2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: As you know, flour is essential for creating a well-structured cookie with a perfect texture and shape.

Green Filling

Ingredients for the soft green vanilla center:

  • 1 CUP POWDERED SUGAR: also called confectioner’s sugar, it’s the type of sugar that makes frosting recipes taste amazing.
  • 4 TEASPOONS MILK: for the rich flavor and perfect consistency.
  • 2 TEASPOONS CORN SYRUP: adds additional moisture and sweetness.
  • 1/2 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT: rich, sweet flavor that complements the other flavors in the recipe.
  • 4 DROPS GREEN FOOD COLORING: To give this sweet filling a bright green color to match the Grinch theme. I used Wilton Leaf Green from Amazon, but you can usually find it in your local craft stores as well.

GARNISH: Large red heart sprinkles – I use these Red Heart Sprinkles on Amazon.

Grinch Thumbprint Ingredients displayed on kitchen counter top.

 

How to Make Grinch Thumbprint Cookies

Cookie Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl combine flour and salt, using a spatula or a whisk to mix together.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed until completely combined.

Next, add the flour mixture in gradually, mixing after each addition, until it is all mixed well.

4 Photos in a collage: Top left is a bowl with sugar and four. Top right bowl of 2 sticks of butter and sugar. Bottom left creamed butter with an egg yolk. Bottom right adding flour mixture to butter mixture.

 

Use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, your finger or a small round object press a hole in the center of each dough ball.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press in the center of each cookie again, as it will have risen a little. Then, place back in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top photo of cookie dough balls and bottom photo with a imprint in the middle made by the handle of a wooden spoon.

 

Filling Directions:

In a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and 3 teaspoons of milk. Mix until well incorporated. The filling should be thick enough to set inside the thumbprint cookie without running down the sides, but thin enough to easily scoop out.

Add 3 drops of green food coloring and mix well. Continue adding one drop of food coloring until you reach the desired green color.

TIP: If the filling is too thick add additional milk ½ tsp at a time.

Four photo collage. Top left is all ingredients (minus good coloring) in a bowl. Top right is the beginning of mixing the ingredients with a spoon. Bottom left is fully mixed with 3 drops of food coloring. Bottom right is mixed together and is now a green filling.

 

You can use a spoon or a piping bag to fill the cookies. If you want to use a piping bag, add the filling to a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe the filling into the middle of the cookie.

Place a heart sprinkle in the center of each cookie and allow the cookies to sit uncovered until the filling has set (approximately 25 minutes).

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies on a white plate. Three stacked and one leaning against the stack showing the front of the cookie. Top stackecked cookie has a bite out of it showing the middle of the cookie.

 

Variations

  • You can use almond extract instead of vanilla to add a nutty flavor to your Grinch thumbprint cookies.
  • Replace the homemade filling with green candy melts for a quicker recipe. Simply microwave the green candy melts in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals (stirring in between) until fully melted.

Storage

Store these Grinch Thumbprint Cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. Be sure to keep then in a single layer or place parchment paper in between if you need to stack them.

Simply keep any leftovers on the kitchen counter in the airtight container so they’re easy to grab!

 

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies are such a festive holiday cookie recipe! These buttery sweet Grinch cookies make an adorable Christmas cookie display for all your Christmas celebrations.

Yield: 36

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies stacked in a large bowl.

Grinch Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious, buttery shortbread cookie with sweet green filling then topped with a red heart sprinkle. These Grinch Christmas cookies are perfect for the holiday season and will get everyone into the Christmas spirit!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup Butter (softened)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour

Vanilla Green Filling

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Corn Syrup
  • ½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Garnish

  • Large Red Heart Sprinkles

Instructions

Cookie Dough

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour and salt, using a spatula or a whisk to mix together.
  3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed until completely combined.
  4. Next, add the flour mixture in gradually, mixing after each addition, until combined.
  5. Use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop to scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, your finger or a small round object press a hole in the center of each dough ball.
  6. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press in the center of each cookie again. Place back in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Green Filling

  1. In a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and milk. Mix until well incorporated. The filling should be thick enough to sit inside the thumbprint cookie without running down the sides, but thin enough to easily scoop out.
  2. Add 3 drops of green food coloring and mix well. Continue adding one drop of food coloring until you reach the desired green color.
  3. Use a spoon or a piping bag to fill the cookies. If you want to use a piping bag, add the filling to a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe the filling into the middle of the cookie.

Garnish

  1. Place a heart sprinkle in the center of each cookie and allow the cookies to sit uncovered until the filling has set (approximately 25 minutes).

Notes

See recipe posts for tips and variations.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

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