I’d be hard pressed to name my favorite Christmas cookie, but a classic thumbprint cookie would certainly rank near the top of the list. Sweet and buttery with a little treat in the center– what’s not to love? While you often see jam used for the filling, this version uses crunchy chopped pecans, and boy, is it a delicious alternative. If you’re looking to mix up your recipe game this holiday season, give these Pecan Thumbprints a try!
The cookie dough is made with baking staples and comes together in a crumbly mixture in a matter of minutes. You’ll then shape the dough into small balls, roll them in granulated sugar, and press your thumb into the center. Pop the dough balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes while you start on the filling. A combination of powdered sugar, corn syrup, and butter create a delicious coating for the chopped pecans. Yum!
Once the cookie dough is nice and firm, spoon the cooled pecan filling into the center of each one. Get them in the oven as quickly as possible and bake them just until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool and then enjoy. They’re perfect with a big glass of milk!
Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
20m prep time
10m cook time
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ¼ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until light and creamy.
- Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
- In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Dough will be crumbly.
- Use your hands to roll dough into smooth 1 ½ tablespoon sized balls and roll in remaining ⅓ cup sugar. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball to create an indent.
- Place dough balls in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- While dough chills, prepare the filling: Add powdered sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, stir in chopped pecans, then remove from heat. Allow filling to cool until cookie dough is ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange cookies at least 2 inches apart and spoon filling into the center.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are just starting to turn golden.
Recipe adapted from Inthekitchenwithjenny.com