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The Best Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

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Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies not only look pretty, but they also taste amazing! A buttery cookie base, chock full of pecans and topped with a cherry filling, drizzled with white chocolate makes this cookie a decadent treat.

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Close up of cherry pecan thumbprint.

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A photo of ingredients needed for Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies


There’s a good chance you have all of the ingredients on hand to make this cookie that my husband says, tastes like Christmas.

  • Butter
  • Shortening
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Brown Sugar
  • Flour
  • Vanilla
  • Pecans
  • Milk
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • White Chocolate Chips

A photo collage of how to make an indent in thumbprint cookies.

I do not like using my thumb, or any other finger, to make the indentation in thumbprint cookies. It’s much easier, and less messy, to use the back of a teaspoon for these cookies. 

If the teaspoon sticks, you can gently release it by moving it a bit or using your fingers to hold the cookie dough down.

Do this very gently so as not to make the bottom of the cookie indentation too thin or make a hole. If you do get a hole or tear, you can easily press the mistake together to fix it.

Cherry pecan cookie being held.

Tips for Making Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

  • Use a small cookie scoop to make evenly sized cookies. I use this OXO scoop.
  • When dipping the balls in the egg white, use two forks to toss and transfer to the pecans. I use Millican Pecans grown in Texas.
  • Use a ¼ teaspoon to fill the thumbprint indentations. It’s just the right amount.
  • I use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate so there aren’t big dollops on the cookie.

I’m a big fan of cookies with pecans but not everyone loves them as much as I do. One of the reasons I keep pecans is because my husband has a walnut allergy. If you prefer walnuts to pecans, you can certainly substitute them. Just make sure they are finely chopped

Similar Cookies

By similar cookies I mean thumbprints cookies and cherry cookies that you can find on the site.

Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies Pinterest Image

A buttery cookie base, chock full of pecans and topped with a cherry filling, drizzled with white chocolate makes this cherry pecan thumbprint cookie a decadent treat. Click to Tweet

Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies Twitter Image

Close up of cherry pecan thumbprint.

Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 56 minutes

A cookie that tastes like Christmas.


Cookie Dough

  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, separated, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  • 24 maraschino cherries, dried off
  • 6 ounces good-quality white chocolate chips, I use Ghirardelli


    1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, and salt until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until well incorporated.
    2. Gradually beat the flour into creamed mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough, covered, until easy to handle, at least 30 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Place pecans on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Using a #60 (2 teaspoon) cookie scoop, shape dough into balls. Dip balls in the egg white then roll in pecans.
    4. Place balls 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press an indentation in the center of each with the back of a teaspoon, being careful not to make the bottom too thin or create a hole. Bake until edges are light brown, 10 - 12 minutes. Remove pans from the oven and let cool for 3 minutes on the pan and then transfer from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before filling.
    5. In a small bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, cherry juice, butter, and milk until smooth. Fill each cookie with ¼ tsp. filling. Top with 1 cherry.
    6. Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions. Drizzle with white chocolate. Let stand until set.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below or share it on Pinterest!


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Do these need to be refrigerated?


Thursday 30th of December 2021

No they do not but if you want to you certainly can. I would bring to room temperature before serving. The filling should be soft.


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

These look incredible! Do you think they would still turn out well if I used walnuts instead of pecans?


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Yes! I think walnuts would be a wonderful substitution for the pecans. Just make sure they are finely chopped. My husband has a walnut allergy so I always use pecans. Please let me know how they turn out!


Sunday 12th of December 2021

These look pretty, delicious, and addictive! YUM!


Wednesday 8th of December 2021

I think these are the prettiest thumbprint cookies I've seen. I'm sure those nuts are super tasty too!


Wednesday 24th of November 2021

I am a total cherry fan! I would devour these. They look perfectly delicious.

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