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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There’s a good chance you have all of the ingredients on hand to make these cherry pecan thumbprint cookies that my husband says, taste like Christmas.
- Brown Sugar
- Confectioners’ Sugar
- Maraschino Cherries
- White Chocolate Chips
How to Make Thumbprints in a Cookie
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.
Tips for Making Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
- Use a small cookie scoop to make evenly sized cookies. I use this small OXO scoop.
- When dipping the balls in the egg white, use two forks to toss and transfer them to the pecans. I use Millican Pecans grown in Texas.
- Use a 1/4 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.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Cherry pecan thumbprint cookies are an impressive cookie for any time of the year but here are concrete reasons.
- It’s a fun cookie to make any time of year, not just during the holidays.
- Add it to a cookie tray to impress family and friends.
- Substitute walnuts for pecans if you prefer.
- They will keep for up to 4 days.
- Drizzle some with white chocolate and some with milk or dark chocolate.
By similar cookies I mean thumbprint cookies and cherry cookies that you can find on the site.
- Mint Chocolate Thumbprints – one of the most popular Christmas cookies on the blog!
- Cherry Pecan Shortbread Rounds – more cherry goodness in a shortbread cookie.
- Easter M&M Thumbprint Cookies – I know, not something you’d make for Christmas but a thumbprint nonetheless!
- Cherry Wink Cookies – Rich cookie dough stuffed with dates and pecans is then rolled in crushed cornflakes and topped with a maraschino cherry to make a true vintage cookie.
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Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- 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 rinsed and dried off
- 6 ounces good-quality white chocolate chips I use Ghirardelli
- 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.
- Gradually beat the flour into creamed mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough, covered, until easy to handle, at least 30 minutes.
- 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 cookie scoop, shape dough into balls. Dip balls in the egg white then roll in pecans.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, cherry juice, butter, and milk until smooth. Fill each cookie with 1/4 tsp. filling. Top with 1 cherry.
- Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions. Drizzle with white chocolate. Let stand until set.