This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
All the goodness of pecan pie in cookie form! Pecan Pie Thumbprints will make a great addition to your Christmas cookie baking.
I’m gonna say it…I’m just gonna say it. I’m in love with these cookies. It’s the real deal and it’s going to last forever, of this I’m certain.
We are in the midst of being slammed by a great big storm here in Northern California – by California standards, anyway. We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain for days on end and it looks like it’s going to keep on comin’. Big gusty winds are blowing our trees around like crazy in our backyard and baby girl Bridget can’t figure out what the heck is going on. When I try to coax her outside into that craziness to do her business, she looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. This is the first real storm she’s seen in her 1+ years which tells you just how badly we need this rain. The far more experienced Bruno is taking it all in stride and hopefully we’ll get Bridget over her storm issues soon. Dog Whisperer, where are you? If you stop by…I have cookies.
While baking my Thanksgiving pies last week my mind was busy planning my Christmas cookie baking. Always one step ahead – that’s me (not!). Anyway, as I mixed together the pecan pie filling I thought there had to be a way to extend my love for this divine pie into a Christmas treat. But, honestly, I’ve had enough of pies – it’s cookie time. So, I mixed up a batch of what I think is the best darn thumbprint dough this side of the Mississippi, (there’s no competing with that thumbprint dough over on the other side of the Mississippi), then filled them with a mixture very similar to my pecan pie filling and ding, ding, ding…we have a winner!
They are very easy to make and I promise, they will be well loved. Let’s bake some cookies!
You can do this in a stand mixer or just grab a big bowl and an electric hand mixer and cream together softened butter, and some white and brown sugar. See the printable recipe below for the exact amounts and all the other deets.
Crack an egg and throw it in along with a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix again till nicely combined and creamy.
Time to add the dry ingredients. Combine your flour and a bit of salt in a separate bowl and dump it into the butter mixture. Use your hand mixer to combine, just till crumbly like this. We’re going to finish it off with a wooden spoon to avoid over working the dough.
Use a wooden spoon to work the dough until it holds together, like so. I’m telling you, this is the perfect thumbprint dough. It is easy to work with immediately without any chilling. It holds it’s shape while baking and it tastes mahvelous dahling!
I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper but if you don’t want to bother, just bake the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Roll the dough into small balls and place them a couple of inches apart on the baking sheet.
Press your thumb or index finger into the center of each ball of cookie dough to create an indentation for the filling.
Use your hands to shape them up if necessary so they’ll be nice and pretty.
Mix the filling together in a separate small bowl. Chopped pecans, brown sugar, a little half-and-half, a little corn syrup, and a touch of vanilla. Sweet, gooey, goodness.
Fill the indentations in the cookies with the yummy filling. Pop them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, or till lightly browned around the edges.
Let ’em cool.
For the cookies:
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 1 scant cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half or heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream together 3/4 cup butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Beat dry ingredients into the creamed mixture just till slightly combined. Finish by mixing with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined or ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the center of each cookie using your thumb or index finger.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, combine filling ingredients. Add one teaspoon of the filling in the indentation of each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely.
- Thumbprint dough adapted from Allrecipes.com
If you’re a thumbprint fan, you should definitely check out these Eggnog Thumbprints – one of my all-time favorite Christmas cookies that uses the same base thumbprint dough.