Mint Jelly Butter Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe has been a part of Christmas for as long as I can remember. It was a recipe made by my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family.

My grandparents on both sides were born in Poland. They lost everything in World War II, and spent the last half of their childhood in German labor camps. Once the war was over, they were transferred to refugee camps and were lucky enough to come to Canada. We don’t know where this recipe came from. It could be a recipe she learned in the camps, or something she adapted from memory, but they have been a part of our family for as long as anyone can remember.

Family portrait of my grandparents. My dad is the boy with the glasses.

These cookies are bite-sized jewels. They are soft and somewhat chewy. Not super sweet and have a subtle mint flavor. Growing up, my dad used to call them Mint Cookies. My mother renamed them to Butter Buds. I’m going to call them Mint Jelly Butter Thumbprints.

My mom and I have always had the most success with E.D. Smith Mint Jelly. It has a beautiful colour and a sweet, not super minty taste. It also holds it’s shape really well and turns into a soft candy-like consistency after baking. I’m not sure if my grandmother used the same brand, or if she made her own mint jelly for these cookies. Since my mom has been baking these, she will use no other jelly.

To pipe the jelly, I fill a small sandwich bag and cut a hole in one corner.

The process for these cookies is not overly complicated. The most time consuming part, like any thumbprint cookie is creating the indents and filling them with jelly. Growing up it was always my job to poke the indents. My mom always said my sister and I did it best because of our small fingers.

What are your favorite Christmas cookies? Follow me on Instagram and tell me all about them.

Mint Jelly Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Polish
Servings 6 dozen small cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • mint jelly


  • Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add into creamed mixture.
  • Drop from tsp measurement onto lined cookie sheet. Press center of cookie with floured index finger and fill indentation with piped mint jelly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 mins, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on tray for a few mins before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Keyword butter, cookies, dessert, jelly, mint, polish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *