Pineapple Thumbprints

When I bite into one of these little gems, it’s like capturing the essence of Hawaii, my favorite destination!

It’s a buttery sugary treat with a creamy filling nesting in the thumbprint.  It’s a cookie that is filled with the delicious flavor of pineapple.  This recipe, from Food Network Magazine, can easily be doubled.

Making "thumbprints"
Filling the "thumbprints"

To mellow the sweetness, the filling is blended with cream cheese. Then the cookie is finished with a few bits of dried pineapple clustered in the cream cheese filling.

Maybe a little toasted coconut scattered over the cookie would be the icing on the cake...

Pineapple Thumbprints  

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup dried pineapple chunks, finely chopped, plus more for topping
1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice
1½ ounces cream cheese
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Milk, for brushing

Whisk flour baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the egg, then the lemon juice.
Reduce mixer speed to medium low; mix in dried pineapple, the the flour mixture until combined. 
Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine crushed pineapple, cream cheese, the remaining 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a bowl with a rubber spatula, breaking up any large pineapple pieces. 
Refrigerate until slightly firm, at least 30 minutes.
To bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls; arrange 2” apart on baking sheets.
Indent each with the back of a floured ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon.
Brush with milk.
Bake until cookies are slightly puffed, 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and re-indent.
Spoon in the filling.
Return to oven until lightly browned, 6-8 more minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.
Top with dried pineapple.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies



  1. My 80 something year old friend Donella has just returned from Hawaii where her son owns a home..She loves it.
    I have the postcard to prove it:)

    I bet she would love these!
    And I bet I could handle Hawaii:)

  2. Monique, lucky friend! These are so good!

  3. Thumbprints are so much fun, aren't they? Never had them with pineapple, though. Really fun idea! Love this recipe -- thanks. And I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Thanks, John! This is the first time I've made thumbprints with pineapple and I plan on making them many times in the future.

  4. Look delicious ! I have a pineapple just now Pam ...and I would be happy to go Hawai!!

    1. Thanks, Gloria! I could be ready shortly to return to Hawaii!

  5. Dave made a delicious pineapple custard pie awhile ago. Maybe if I pass this recipe on to him... he will make them. Merry Christmas, Pam.


    1. Glenda, that pineapple custard pie sounds like a winner to me!

  6. I've never been but always wanted to go there. Cookies look yummy.

  7. We love Thumbprints here, though I've never thought about a pineapple filling for them! Never been to Hawaii. I'm not sure it is on our "bucket list," though my husband will mention from time to time how nice it must be in Hawaii.:-)

    1. Nellie, if you like warm weather and everything tropical, Hawaii is the place! I wondered why I had never thought of a pineapple filling for the thunbprints, esp. when Mom make a pineapple cookie I loved.

  8. I love this thumbprint variation! I was thinking that coconut would be good with them too, or even crushed macadamias. Must try these! :)

    1. Thank you, shf! Yes, macadamia, great thought and worth a try to make them even more tropical!

  9. Thumbprint cookies are always a winner and I adore pineapple.

  10. What fun little cookies! Love those fruity centers.

    1. Joanne, thanks! A little fruity is a good thing. ;-)

  11. I've never heard of pineapple thumbprints before. What a great idea!

  12. I like your thoughts.......I could go for a little Hawaii time! I guess I have to settle for trying out these delicious cookies.. I don't think I've ever seen these before...but, glad to know about them now....

  13. Pam, I've never had a pineapple thumbprint cookie...although I have had a variety of thumbprint cookies! I do love pineapple and this would be a nice change from the ordinary... Thanks, Take Care and Merry Christmas! Big Daddy Dave


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