Goat Cheese & Thyme Snacking Cookies

November 16, 2021
2 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 14 cookies
Author Notes

With their jeweled jam centers, thumbprint cookies are a holiday mainstay, but who says they can’t shine as savory stars, too? After all, the centers are just a vessel for any kind of flavorful spread. In these soft, thyme-scented thumbprint cookies, goat cheese adds a welcome savory twist to the classic—and because Vermont Creamery’s Classic Goat Cheese errs on the milkier, milder side (rather than some more acidic varieties), the salty-sweet ratio is just right.

These cookies contain a double dose of goat cheese: The cheese is both creamed into the dough and smeared on top of the cookies with a touch of honey to finish. I found that instead of baking the cheese in the centers (which made for congealed lumps), filling the indents with fresh goat cheese after the cookies baked led to a better result, allowing the cheese to remain creamy. Butter, goat cheese, and sour cream in the dough mean plenty of richness, and a bit of whole-wheat flour adds subtle, earthy notes that complement the aromatic thyme. The dough contains a modest amount of sugar that balances the salt and tanginess of the goat cheese without veering into “traditional” cookie territory.

Heading into the holiday season, a platter of these goat cheese and thyme thumbprints are perfect bite-size treats to serve alongside cocktails or as a unique nibble to start the night. The cheese and herbs work surprisingly well in cookie format, demonstrating that savory and sweet can collide with delicious results—all while retaining the fun, festive vibes we love in a classic thumbprint cookie.
Joy Cho

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Vermont Creamery, and was developed using their Classic Goat Cheese.
—The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Goat Cheese & Thyme Snacking Cookies
  • For the cookies:
  • 113 grams (½ cup or 1 stick) Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter, softened
  • 2 ounces Vermont Creamery Classic Goat Cheese, softened
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 60 grams (¼ cup) Vermont Creamery Cultured Sour Cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (stems removed), plus more for garnishing
  • 90 grams (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole-wheat flour
  • 60 grams (½ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the filling:
  • 2 ounces Vermont Creamery Classic Goat Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and goat cheese with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the sugar and lightly cream the mixture, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the sour cream and thyme and beat until combined.
  3. Whisk the flours, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat just until the dough comes together (do not over-mix).
  4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes (to make the dough easier to work with when rolling into balls). Heat the oven to 350°F
  5. While the dough is chilling, mix the goat cheese, honey, and a few cranks of ground pepper in a small bowl until completely smooth.
  6. Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon-size balls (or 30 grams per ball), spacing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your thumb to firmly press an indent into the center of each cookie, then use your fingers to press the indent into a uniform shape about 1-inch in diameter.
  7. Bake the cookies for 14 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they look set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
  8. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the goat cheese-honey mixture into the center of each cookie and gently press into place. Sprinkle the centers with a few thyme leaves to finish.
  9. Note: Cookies are best enjoyed the day of baking, but will keep for 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator (bring them to room temperature before eating).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Baguette & Beurre
    Baguette & Beurre
  • Cassandra Brecht
    Cassandra Brecht
  • BeccaSue
  • J_nols

5 Reviews

BeccaSue May 15, 2022
Definitely should cook longer than 14-15 minutes. At 17 minutes, they were still undercooked. Maybe add a bit more sugar. I didn't feel like there was enough here to make me want to experiment with variations.
Baguette &. November 20, 2021
I really don’t like reading through a recipe to see that it’s advertising. Is there a way to distinguish sponsored recipes from others? Maybe I haven’t used the site in a while but the commercialization of the recipes is off putting. Is no one else bothered?
Cassandra B. January 24, 2022
We get these recipes for free. So, doesn't bother me that they have partnerships in order to bring in revenue.
J_nols November 18, 2021
I cannot find the Vermont Sour Cream anywhere.
Baguette &. November 20, 2021
You can use any sour cream!!!!! The use of brand names in recipes is ridiculous.