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.

Pin Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies to make later.

Close up of cherry pecan thumbprint.

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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.

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

A photo of ingredients needed for Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

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.

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

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.

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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.
Cherry pecan cookie being held.

Similar Cookies

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

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and 5-star review on the recipe card below. If you really love this recipe, please share it on your social media!

Cherry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

A cookie that tastes like Christmas.
4.79 from 42 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time11 minutes
Chilling Time30 minutes
Total Time56 minutes
Course: Christmas Cookies
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies


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


  • 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.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made these for Christmas. Easy to make and super delicious. The only thing I’m confused about is, the recipe says it makes 24 and I was lucky to get 14. I made it exactly as written. They weren’t big,actually small and much smaller there wouldn’t be a cookie to put a cherry on.

    1. Hi Angela! First, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies. I’m sorry you didn’t get 24. Did you use a small cookie scoop? After the new year I’ll remake these cookies again.

  2. 5 stars
    These were such a huge hit at my party. Everyone loved how gorgeous they turned out! And they were so easy too. There were zero left!

  3. 5 stars
    I always make thumbprints but they’re just plain with jam – these look so much prettier!! Can’t wait to try!

    1. 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!

  4. 4 stars
    I made these according to the recipe but only got 12 cookies from it. Anyone else have that happen? Mine look like the size in the photo.

4.79 from 42 votes (33 ratings without comment)

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