Lemon Ginger Thumbprints


If I am anything in this world, it is a lemon lover.  All of my tea cups are littered with spent lemon rinds.  I hardly drink a cocktail without a twist.  I will eschew chocolate desserts in favor of a lemon dessert every time.  Please stop with those mean looks; I know how you feel about chocolate!  I do like chocolate—I have a whole section on this site devoted to it here: chocolate desserts for two.  But it just doesn’t hold a candle to lemon.  Who’s with me?

I think what most people miss in lemon desserts is a flavor that surpasses acidic or tart.  I think I found that missing flavor:  it’s ginger!  Ginger brings warmth and depth to a lemon dessert.


I made ginger thumbprints filled with lemon curd.  You can use store-bought lemon curd instead of making my small batch of lemon curd.  I really won’t mind.  I tried it with both, and nothing kept me from eating every last cookie in each batch.

Add these bright and cheery cookies to your holiday cookie table!



Lemon Ginger Thumbprints
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 12 two-bite cookies
Serves: 2
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup flour
For the lemon curd:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. First, make the lemon curd: In a small bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter and sugar. Beat this mixture very well, until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the whole egg, beat until combined, then add the remaining egg yolk and beat well.
  3. Next, slowly stream in the lemon juice while beating. The mixture may look curdled, but do not worry. Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and cook over low heat while stirring continuously and scrapping the sides of the pan. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, in about 5-7 minutes, it is done.
  4. Remove from the heat, pour into a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface before placing it in the fridge to chill. (Can be made 1-2 days in advance).
  5. Next, make the cookies: preheat the oven to 350.
  6. Cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  7. Next, add the vanilla and continue beating. Sprinkle in the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat well.
  8. This is very important: slowly add the flour to the dough while mixing, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If you dump all of the flour in at once, the dough won't come together.
  9. Scoop the dough into 12 teaspoon-sized mounds. Use a chopstick to make a divot in the center of each cookie. Press the edges together if the dough cracks a bit.
  10. Bake for 13-14 minutes, or until the edges of cookies brown slightly.
  11. Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
  12. Add scoops of lemon curd into the center of each cookie, and serve.



  1. says

    I love that lemon and ginger combination and how bright and fresh it always feels – it’s perfect after a few heavy meals and these sound like a great Christmas-y snack!

  2. Julie says

    Yum! I’m getting some lemon curd for another recipe today (mostly, because I’m running out of time). If I can resist spooning what’s left into my mouth, these sound delicious and perfect for Papa Swope and me for an extra night snack. If I don’t get another chance, I hope you and Mr. have a blessed Christmas. Love, Momma Swope

  3. says

    I am a lemon lover through and through too – my MIL even specially ordered lemon squares for her wedding because I’m such a freak about it!

    These. Girl, these cookies. They’re on the list of things we’ll be making when we finally meet in person! :)

  4. theStylistQuo says

    That’s too funny – I WISH I felt the way I feel about chocolate.. about lemon. I adore lemon in savory dishes but it’s not my favorite in sweet. Oddly, my father will literally refuse to eat a savory dish with lemon.. but feels the way you do about lemon desserts. Alas! If only those molten chocolate lava cakes stopped calling my name, in lieu of lemon custards..

  5. says

    I’m a HUGE lemon lover myself…definitely more so than a chocolate lover. And the lemon-ginger combo sounds gloriously. These cookies are certainly the perfect bites!

  6. Colette says

    I wish you had done more pictures while making these. Mine came out flat. I am sure the will still be tasty but a little more detail would have been nice.

  7. says

    Mine came out really flat too, and I’m trying to figure out why. I doubled the recipe and didn’t measure the butter suuuuper exactly, so maybe I put in too much…? Oh well, I expect they’ll still be delicious and the gals at our ladies’ night will love them. :)

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