Blueberry crumble shortbread cookies

A modern spin on a classic treat!

This recipe is inspired by the thumbprint cookies my Mom made when I was little. In our house, we actually called them thimble cookies because that’s what she used to make the indentations in the dough which were always filled with homemade fruit preserves. I found the combination of buttery cookie and sweet jam absolutely irresistible and it’s one of my favourites to this day. I decided to tinker with the recipe I’ve used forever, which may have come from my grandmother’s kitchen. Turning them into little pie-shaped servings with crumble topping was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. I sometimes serve them plated with a scoop of ice cream.


Crumble Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) quick (not instant) oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) very cold salted butter


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup (250 mL) blueberry jam


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside (skip this step if your baking sheet is rimless like this one).
  • In a medium sized bowl, make crumble topping by stirring together flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon. Grate the cold butter into the mixture and toss until well-blended. Set aside.
  • Make the cookie dough in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer and a large bowl. Beat together the butter and white sugar until fluffy and pale in colour (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add vanilla and mix for 10 seconds.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, blending until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture holds together when you pinch a bit of it between your fingertips. The dough will look a bit crumbly – that’s ok!
  • Divide the dough mixture in half. Working with one half at a time, shape it into a disc then flatten on the cookie sheet until it forms a circle about 6 inches (15 cm) across and approximately 1/3 inch (approx. 1 cm) thick. Leave a space between the two discs on the cookie sheet.
  • Spoon half the blueberry jam over each disk, spreading to within 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of the outer edge. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the jam in an even layer.

  • Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until lightly golden around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before gently transferring to a sturdy wire rack to cool completely.
  • To serve, transfer carefully to a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut each into 6 or 8 wedges, as you would a pie or pizza.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or freeze for longer storage.

Makes 12 – 16 generously-proportioned cookies.

Note: I received baking equipment from All-Clad to test out when preparing this recipe. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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