Maddie’s Munchies: Cranberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

By Madison Smythe

So, I’ve heard that no one really likes cranberry sauce and the only reason people keep serving it is just to please that one weirdo in the family who does. But you know what I say to those people? I say, fine…then don’t bother trying to eat any of these super tasty cookies I just baked using that delicious leftover cranberry sauce!

For everyone else on the cranberry sauce train with me, please enjoy this scrumptious recipe to make good use of the leftovers. We all know that leftovers are the best part anyways, am I right?

I typically like to make my sauce from scratch, as I prefer it with a little more texture. But this recipe will work with any cranberry sauce of your liking. I also enjoy adding in some bourbon to the mix because who doesn’t need another excuse to drink a cheeky glass of bourbon during the holidays?

These cookies are so good they’ll make your grandma want to steal the recipe. Enjoy!

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 package of cranberries (usually 340 grams)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/5 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/5 cup water
  • zest of one orange
  • 2-4 Tbsp. bourbon (to taste) or more… no ones judging.

Dump all of those delightful ingredients into a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s done most of the liquid will have reduced and the cranberries will have popped. Remove saucepan from heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Almond Thumbprint Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In your mixer cream together butter and sugar on medium speed. Then add in the egg and almond extract, continue mixing.
  3. Change your mixer speed to low and start gradually adding the flour. Mix until just combined.
  4. Roll teaspoon sized balls of the dough and place on a baking sheet with decent amount of space between the dough balls.
  5. Using your thumb, start making impressions in the center of the cookie dough balls. Bakers tip: dip your thumb in flour between impressions to get a cleaner impression.
  6. Fill the hollow centers of the cookies with the cranberry sauce. Be careful how much you add because the cookies will flatten out during baking.
  7. Pop those little babies in the oven and bake for 10- 12 minutes. Place on a cooling rack for 30 mins. before glazing


This stuff looks unappetizing to say the least but I promise it will make your cookies next level.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (you can sub almond milk or soy or whatever other milk alternative you like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  1. In a small bowl whisk the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth and then whisk in almond extract.
  2. Pour the glaze into a small Ziploc bag and cut off a small corner of the bag.

Drizzle glaze over the cookies. The glaze will harden in about 20 minutes.


Madison Paige Headshot


Madison Paige is a DIY Queen. She comes armed with camera and perfectly executed puns. She still faithfully watches Saturday morning cartoons and was voted most likely to choke on wine while laughing at her own dad-joke.