Dessert / Recipes

Snowy Lemon Thumbprints

snowy lemon thumbprint cookies

Happy January, everyone! Melissa from Lulu the Baker here with a tart and tangy cookie recipe to brighten even the gloomiest midwinter day–Snowy Lemon Thumbprints. These are a slightly crisp, buttery shortbread cookie flecked with lemon zest, filled with tangy, homemade lemon curd, and gently coated in sweet and snowy powdered sugar! What more could you ask for?

Snowy Lemon Thumbprints
makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies

You’ll Need:

For the Lemon Curd:

  •  3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 recipe lemon curd, above
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


For the Lemon Curd:

  • To make the lemon curd, whisk together whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small, non-reactive saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  • Remove from heat, and immediately pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into bowl.
  • Stir in butter until melted.
  • Place plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside.
For the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • To make the cookies, combine sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix with your hand, working the zest into the sugar, until the mixture is fragrant and resembles wet sand. Add butter and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Add dry ingredients to the mixer and mix just until the dough comes together.
  • Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in each cookie. Fill with lemon curd. The bigger the indentation, the more lemon curd.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes, until cookies have spread slightly and lemon curd looks set.
  • Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.
  • When cookies are cool enough to handle, but still slightly warm, dredge them in powdered sugar. Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl, set a cookie in the bowl on top of the powdered sugar, and gently push powdered sugar up onto the sides of the cookie. Try not to get powdered sugar on the lemon curd. Gently shake the excess powdered sugar back into the bowl, and place the cookie back onto the cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Repeat with remaining cookies.

Extra cookies should be stored in the fridge, tightly covered. Allow them to come to room temperature before eating.


  1. One word: AWESOME. This recipe will go on my list of all-time favorites. I thank you, as do my co-workers, for this fabulous treat!

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