Home » Recipes » Filled Cookies » Fingerklatschen




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Course: Filled CookiesDifficulty: Medium



Jam-filled thumbprint cookies. Possibly of German origin (see note)*.


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • red jam (cherry or another flavor)

  • confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Cream butter and granulated sugar; add yolks and beat until light. Add extract. Sift flour and salt and add to creamed mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets about 2″ apart. Press finger or thumb into center of each cookie to make a shallow well. Bake about 25 minutes. Press again in centers after baking. Cool on a rack. When cool, fill centers with jam and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. If using cherry jam, try to have a cherry in each cookie.


  • *We actually think this is not the right name in German (it means “Clapping Fingers” ?!), because we’ve been unable to find an actual German recipe with this name, but we have confirmation from at least two Americans whose families have been making these since at least the 1960s that this is what they were called. There are indeed German thumbprint cookies that are extremely similar, so it must be a bad translation of something, possibly Kulleraugen . Anyway, who cares, they’re delicious!
  • Recipe provided by Kathleen Smith of Lincoln Park, New Jersey. Kathleen credits this recipe to her mother Dorothy Bolton Smith, born 1922, “…who was the world’s best baker. For Christmas she made tens of thousands of cookies which were used as gifts and in later years she sold them. Her cookies tasted better than they looked, and each one looked like a piece of art. She was not of German descent – her father was a descendant of the Booth’s who came from England prior to 1865 and her mother’s family came from Scotland & Ireland also in the 1800’s. Her mother died when she was 9 and her father died when she was 12. She lived with several aunts who baked cookies (and stored them in pillowcases!), so I assume the recipe came from an aunt.”
  • Laura in Seattle adds: “This is the EXACT same recipe that’s been in my family since the 1960s, when our friend Mrs. Bachman, shared it with us. Make it every year, and they never last long!”
  • German readers have suggested these may be a German-American version of Engelsaugen (Angel Eyes).



Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

I have my grandmother's recipe box. I have the hand written finger klatchen recipe that she stored in there there are actually 2 of them the original she wrote down in1954and the other one that she wrote down later on more legible. I would love to share a picture of both of them with you.
- Lee Clark

This is the same cookie we've made since we were kids (my mother was of German descent and it was her recipe). We've always known them as Finglerklatschen. Always made them at Christmas with seedless raspberry jam and they're one of my favorites!
- Janet from Chicago

This is also the exact recipe my mom passed down to me. Originally from Ohio, so most likely some German influence. My mom spells it Fingerklotchen which I think is probably incorrect. Im going to ask her more about this one to see what side of our family she got this from.
- Jennifer in TN

This is the EXACT same recipe that's been in my family since the 1960s, when our friend Mrs. Bachman, shared it with us. Make it every year, and they never last long!
- Laura

I searched for this recipe to check if it really did leave out the egg whites. This is EXACTLY the same as the old hand-written, smudged piece of paper on which my English mother transcribed the recipe from her German mother-in-law. It has never been associated to Christmas/Weihnachts in our house, rather one of the all time favourites year round. Guess I have to continue separating my eggs!
- Rasma

I would love to know if there is any connection between Kathleen Smith's family and my own. The recipe is almost identical to one my mother always made at Christmas, except she used apple and currant jellies. We always believed it was an old Austrian or German recipe, passed down through my father's family. Many of our recipes came from my paternal grandmother, Clarissa (Viele) Lutz, who lived in Brooklyn. My mother was also born in 1922, but in the Adirondacks, so maybe it was something both moms found in a magazine!
- Mary Lutz

These were fabulous, and really pretty, too! Not at all difficult to make, I routinely bake cookies for my co-workers, and these always receive rave reviews!
- Elisabeth
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