Cook with Books: Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book

The books we feature in the Cook with Books posts are usually stories, but this month we have a fun activity book to share with you!  Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book is a terrific book to bring out on those cold winter afternoons when the kids’ energy is high and yours is low.  Kids of all ages can follow the simple steps to make fingerprint pictures without much help at all, which makes this an excellent book in my opinion!  When they’re finished with their pictures, the kids can try out these easy thumbprint cookies, too!

thumbprint ingredientsThese cookies are so good and easy to make.  You’ve almost certainly got everything you need on hand!

butter and sugarStart by creaming your butter and sugar together.

eggsNext you’ll add your vanilla and the yolks of two eggs and then mix again.  My kids actually did really well for their first time trying this!

flour and saltAdd the flour and salt and mix until you get a smooth dough.  At first it will look very crumbly, like the picture above, but stick with it and a nice dough will form.  Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for half an hour or so.

jellyRoll the dough into one inch balls and then place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press your thumb down into the middle of the dough ball to make a little indentation.  Fill the cookies with whatever kind of jams or preserves you prefer.  I love that everyone can have a different flavor if they want!

messSome kinds of fillings will make more of a mess than others, but even though they may not look Pinterest-worthy, they are still delicious!

finished thumbprintsThese are so easy and make such a pretty tea time snack!

Here’s the full recipe:


  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • jams or preserves of your choice


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Add the two egg yolks and the vanilla to the butter and sugar and mix well.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  5. Roll the dough into one-inch balls.  (I got about two dozen from this recipe.)  Place the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and press down with your thumb to make an indentation in the dough.
  6. Fill the indentation with your favorite jam or preserves.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.


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One thought on “Cook with Books: Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book”

  1. Ohhh we have that book but haven’t brought it out for a long time, thanks for reminding me! My boys will love making those cookies too.

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