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Sweetheart Cookies

These rounds filled with fruit preserves were blue-ribbon winners at the county fair two years running. A family favorite, they never last beyond December 25! —Pamela Esposito, Smithville, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry preserves
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk; mix well. Stir in the flour by hand. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly combined.
  • Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indention in the center of each. Fill each with 1/4 teaspoon preserves.
  • Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Dust warm cookies with confectioners' sugar if desired. Cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 102 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 46mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • camcraftymom
    Dec 22, 2019

    These are definitely more than the sum of their parts. If you like the packaged shortbread cookies with the jam centers, you will love these. I doubled the recipe, and used my stand mixer to cream the butter, sugar, and eggs. I added the flour on low speed, and mixed just until crumbly, then followed the kneading directions in the recipe. I used a silicone pastry mat and a bench scraper, so I didn’t need to flour my work surface. I weighed my dough, and each ball was 20g. This gave me 48 cookies. I used the small side of a melon baller to make the indentations, and a level 1/4 teaspoon of jam per cookie. Stirring the jam first loosens it up for easier measuring. The dough needs to be soft when you press in the indents, or it will crack. Mine took 16 minutes to bake.

  • bernerlover
    Sep 27, 2019

    I thought these cookies were fantastic-so did everyone else. I made them exactly as written, other than I made them a little bigger. I used my strawberry pineapple freezer jam I made and loved it. I thought of changing it a bit as a couple suggested like having cold butter or refrigerating, but figured I'd make them as written the first time and I'm really glad I did. I'll continue to make them as they are, no changes needed.

  • fmmslkl
    Aug 6, 2019

    Great cookie. I question the individual who said the suggested baking time was too long. I found 15 minutes perfect.

  • Kimiko
    Jul 11, 2019

    This is my go-to cookie recipe when I want to whip up something quick and easy, but also want to impress. I’ve probably made this at least 40 times and I always get asked for this recipe. People are always surprised to find how few ingredients are actually in this! Like the other reviewers have mentioned, definitely make a well, not a thumbprint. I use the back of a wooden spoon and kind of spread it around to make it a bit bigger. I also have tried different jams/preserves over the years, and my favorite is definitely Knott’s SEEDLESS raspberry preserves.i don’t chill the dough or keep the butter cold, but I also don’t mind it not being as puffy as the picture; the flavor and texture of the baked cookie is still great!

  • Britton
    Dec 22, 2017

    I like the taste of these quite a bit, however the suggested baking time was wildly inaccurate. I cooked these for all of maybe seven minutes and they were perfectly done. Definitely don’t pop them in and walk away, that’s for sure. The second time I made them I substituted confectioner’s sugar in place of the granulated: the result was a much more tender cookie with a more even flavor. I do recommend chilling them for about half an hour before rolling them into balls, but chilled butter doesn’t seem necessary for them to keep their shape so long as the prepared dough is chilled and the balls not too large.

  • Lana
    Feb 8, 2017

    These are great! My mother used to make these for years. It's an old recipe. However, to make your cookies more puffy and even, do this: Use COLD butter, not softened. Once the dough is made, chill in fridge for about 30 minutes. Also, make sure the balls are not overly big. You want to get 24 cookies out of this recipe. Additionally, don't make a thumbprint, make a WELL, a hole. If you make a thumbprint, the jam will just spread all over the cookie while baking.

  • NJ_mommy_1
    Dec 14, 2015

    These cookies are delicious!! I now use them every year for one of my Christmas cookies. Every time I make them, they are gobbled up. Thanks for the recipe!!! The only thing I changed about the recipe was I did not use preserves but rather used jam.

  • quietgardens
    Dec 22, 2014

    These cookies turned out as perfect as the picture looks. I wasn't sure it would mix together because the batter resembled powdered butter granules before it incorporated when kneading. Once my hands warmed up the batter a bit, it all came together. Make sure you sprinkle with the powdered sugar!

  • pepsi4dee
    Nov 20, 2013

    can these cookies be frozen?

  • ajz223
    May 31, 2012

    They look delicious! I wonder if they would freeze well?