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Lemon Curd & Thyme Thumbprint Cookies with Streusel & Vanilla Icing

With a crumbly streusel topping & stripes of vanilla icing, Lemon Curd & Thyme Thumbprint Cookies are sweet & tart - like bite-size lemon meringue pies.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, cookie
Keyword cookie, curd, jam, lemon, preserves, shortbread, thyme, vanilla
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 cookies



  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, separated from the stems
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest (optional)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, for rolling
  • 1 cup lemon curd (see note)

Streusel Crumble

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup flour

Vanilla Drizzle

  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Shortbread Dough

  • Whisk together the granulated sugar with the melted butter until combined. (This can be done by hand, but feel free to use your stand or electric mixer should you prefer!). Mix in the egg, salt and vanilla extract one at a time.
  • Switching to a wooden spoon, mix in the flours, thyme leaves, and lemon zest (if using). As the dough gets stiff, switch to mixing the dough with your hands. Knead the dough for about five minutes, until completely combined. Form the dough into a ball and chill for about 15-20 minutes (to overnight if desired).

Make the Streusel

  • While the cookies chill, make the streusel crumble topping. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the ingredients and then set aside. If the mixture feels too wet, you can always add a little more brown sugar as needed.

Form & Bake the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pull the dough out of the fridge and form it into about 20 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball. Roll them in the powdered sugar and place them on the prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart. Carefully press your thumb into each of the balls to create the indent the lemon curd will sit in. This is how the cookie gets its name.
  • Fill each indent with lemon curd (about ¼ - ½ teaspoon). Sprinkle the prepared streusel crumble on top of each cookie. Bake the trays of cookies for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the lemon curd has melted a bit into the indents. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on racks for 10-20 minutes.

Add the Vanilla Drizzle

  • When the thumbprint cookies are room temperature, whisk together the ingredients for the Vanilla Drizzle. Set the cookies out on a clean baking sheet or sheet of parchment paper. Using a spoon with a little frosting on it at a time, drizzle the frosting over the cooled cookies. Be careful not to use too much or make the frosting too thick – it should just add a bit of sweetness to the tart curd, and a lovely look to the cookie.


  • Thumbprint cookies will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days; in the fridge for about 1 week; and frozen for about 3 months.


Homemade vs. Store-Bought Lemon Curd: Homemade lemon curd isn't difficult to make, and winter is the perfect season to gather up some Meyer lemons for the recipe. You can then use some of the zest from making the curd in the short bread! That being said, store-bought lemon curd is still delicious, and all you really need to make these cookies. 
Recipe Alterations: Feel free to adjust this recipe to use any jam or preserve you have on hand. Most citrus marmalades and berry jams will taste delicious with the thyme shortbread, but if you have any doubts, you can always leave the thyme leaves out of the dough.