Leftover Cranberry Sauce Thumbprint Cookies

If you’re like me, canned cranberry sauce is the highlight of my Thanksgiving. But if you’ve got a family like mine, there will be a ton of leftovers because I’m the only one who eats it. Instead of throwing it away, repurpose it! This recipe is a classic thumbprint cookie that simply replaces jam with canned jellied sauce instead. Even those who don’t normally like cranberry sauce will happily snack on these little jewels.

Makes 24 to 30 cookies


  • 12 tablespoons (169 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (228 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup jellied cranberry sauce


Make the Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line half sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  1. Using a standard mixer or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and then gradually add to the butter mixture on low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  1. Scoop and roll the dough into equal sized balls and place on the sheet pans about 2 inches apart. Using the back of a melon baller or teaspoon, press an indent into the middle of each cookie.
  1. Using a whisk or spoon, break up the cranberry sauce a bit to make it easier to use. Fill each indent with about ¾ teaspoon.
  1. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden. Let the cookies completely on wire racks and then serve. Cookies will remain at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.


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AnnMarie Mattilahttps://pastryathome.com
AnnMarie Mattila is a writer for Pastry Arts Magazine, as well as a freelance baker and pastry chef in New York. She has a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University and is also a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education.
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