Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

Pecan pie lovers rejoice! I bring you all the deliciousness of pecan pie in easy-to-make and easy-to-eat cookie form. You still get that buttery, flaky, tender “crust” with the shortbread cookie and that sweet, gooey, caramelized pecan pie filling in the center, but these cookies are so much easier to make and bake than a whole pie.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

Watch Me Make Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Join me in the kitchen as I make these delicious thumbprint cookies for Thanksgiving!

Cookies to be Obsessed About

I’m so obsessed with these cookies! I could hardly wait to share the recipe with you. Just in time for the holidays! They make for a great grab-and-enjoy treat to set out during your Thanksgiving gathering. Or, take a batch to a Christmas cookie exchange, or package and gift to your neighbors and friends this holiday season.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

What Do I Need to Make Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies?

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar, brown sugar, light corn syrup
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chopped pecans
Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

How to Make Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cookie Dough: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour and beat on low until just combined and then on high until well combined and a thick, soft dough is formed.

*It is important to use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment to combine the ingredients into a soft dough.

Pinch off small portions of the dough and form into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

Pecan Pie Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir in the pecans until well combined.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

Lightly press your thumb into the center of each ball. Then fill the indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of the pecan pie filling. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the filling starts to caramelize on top and the cookies start to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

And that’s all there is to them. Such a great cookie to bake for the holidays that’s sure to excite and satisfy all the pecan pie lovers in your life!

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

More Fall Baking Favorites

No need to wait for the leaves to start dropping to enjoy My Favorite Recipes for Fall Baking! From perfectly-spiced pumpkin bread to pecan pie bites and savory corn bread, you’re sure to fall for these autumn treats!

My Favorite Recipes for Fall Baking by The BakerMama

More Thanksgiving Recipes You’ll be Thankful For!

I’m here to help you keep it easy while also impressing your loved ones with something delicious! I’ve compiled my favorite Thanksgiving recipes for you. From snacks and appetizers to classic sides to the most delicious desserts and even some ideas for all those leftovers, I’ve got you covered. You and your loved ones are sure to enjoy these deliciously easy recipes!

Thanksgiving Recipes to be Thankful for by The BakerMama

Happy holidays and even happier cookie baking! Tis’ the season! If you make these Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies, be sure to snap a picture and share it with me or tag me on Instagram @thebakermama so I can see. ???? I love seeing how inspired and creative y’all get with the recipes I share.

xoxo,

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Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies by The BakerMama

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Maegan – The BakerMama
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

These Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies are such an easy way to get your pecan pie fix without having to bake a whole pie. Tender, flaky, buttery shortbread cookies are filled with a sweet, gooey, caramelized pecan pie filling for a cookie eating experience that’s just too tasty to be true!


Ingredients

Scale

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cookie Dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour and beat on low until just combined and then on high until well combined and a thick, soft dough is formed. *It is important to use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment to combine the ingredients into a soft dough.
  3. Pinch off small portions of the dough and form into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Pecan Pie Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the pecans until well combined.
  5. Lightly press your thumb into the center of each ball and fill the well with 1/2 teaspoon of the pecan pie filling. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the filling starts to caramelize on top and the cookies start to turn a light golden brown. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of the best-selling Beautiful Boards and its next-level follow-up, Spectacular Spreads. She started blogging in 2012 and has over 700 original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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Comments

  1. I’ve never been a huge fan of nuts but for some reason I’ve really been into pecan pie type baked goods lately. These look wonderful. I hope to try them this weekend 🙂

    1. They’re so yummy and they freeze great! Just make sure you let them cool completely and store them in a freezer safe bag or container. Then let them defrost, uncovered, at room temperature when you’re ready to eat them. Enjoy!

    1. Yes! Just make sure you let them cool completely and store them in a freezer safe bag or container. Then just let them defrost, uncovered, at room temperature. Enjoy!

    1. You should have been able to fit 1/2 teaspoon of filling in each cookie. I wonder if your indentions in each cookie just needed to be bigger to allow for more filling? Hopefully, they still tasted great!

      1. Hi, these are delicious. However by the 3rd day the filling was rock hard. I had them seal in a ziplock bag. Do you have any suggestions as to how to fix this as I would like them to last longer. Thank you

      2. Hi Christy! I’m surprised they hardened in a sealed container as the moisture trapped within should keep them moist. Did you keep them at room temperature or in the refrigerator? I always store ours in a sealed plastic container or covered in plastic wrap on the kitchen counter and they stay great for 3-4 days. Hope this helps!

      3. Me too, I only needed half the filling. I use a cookie scoop, kind of like a small ice cream scoop. That makes all the cookies the same size, I measured the filling to be a generous half tsp. The filling is really stiff. Tastes good, I will see if the filling gets hard
        Do you have any tips?

      4. Hi Adele! Were your cookie dough balls just 1-inch in diameter. If so, you should have gotten 24 cookie dough balls and then filled each one with 1/2 teaspoon filling. I bake them often and very rarely have that much filling leftover. Sometimes a little based on how chopped the pecans are, but not much. If you store them in an airtight container at room temperate, the filling should have a crisp chew for a few days. Enjoy!

  2. Is the flour 2 & 1/4 cups or 1/2 cup (two 1/4 cups)? I made last year and they were fantastic, but this year I read as 2 &1/4 cups of flour and the dough was beyond dry and wouldn’t stick together. Thanks in advance!

  3. Tasted fantastic but……I sifted my flour and then measured (as if I was making a cake) so ended up using much less flour and they spread out like pancakes!!!! But my family ate them with no hesitation. Silly mistake.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi CM! Oh goodness. Bummer! I don’t sift my flour for the recipe so that probably is what made the difference. Hope you get to try them again soon!

    1. Hi Jody! Absolutely, just let them cool completely and store them in a freezer-safe baggie or container, with parchment paper between each layer, for up to 3 months. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Yvonne! They store great in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, if they last that long. 😉 Enjoy!

    1. Hi Ashley! No, no egg. Between the softened butter and granulated sugar, the dough should be thick and soft enough to roll into balls than hold their shape as they bake. I’m wondering if you didn’t add enough sugar or if your sugar was dried out? You could try adding some more butter until the dough comes together, but I’m afraid with too much butter, they won’t hold their thumbprint shape as they bake.

      1. My dough turned out like sand also. I measured everything exact. The only thing I can think of is I don’t have the paddle attachment. I’m using a hand mixer. Any suggestions how to make the sand into dough? =)

      2. Hi Rose! I would suggest mixing it with a wooden spoon next time as it sounds like your hand mixer beat the dough too much to where it wouldn’t come together. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

  4. I’m not sure what happened. Followed exactly and they melted like pancakes. They still taste good so I’m sure they’ll get eaten. They behaved like there wasn’t enough flour. Have to try again and see what happens.

    1. Hi! Did you follow the ingredients and instructions exactly? Are you baking in a high altitude location? It sounds like your dough didn’t have enough flour or that your butter was too soft when you mixed it. You could have also over-mixed the dough which would result in them not holding their shape as they bake. It also sounds like you might have overfilled the center with the pecan filling or you didn’t make the indention big enough or you didn’t make your dough balls big enough to hold the filling. Hope this helps in determining what went wrong. Hopefully, you’ll be able to bake them again soon with success.

    1. Hi L.B.! Yes, you can use honey as a one-to-one replacement for light corn syrup. It has the same thickness. If you use maple syrup, I would just use 3 tablespoons since it is thinner than corn syrup. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

  5. These were crispy which is not what I expected. To me , they were rather tasteless. If you I like crispy cookies , you might like these. Be sure to make the wells deep otherwise the filling will spill over and become pecan brittle. Disappointed.

  6. The flavor is great but they are a bit tough and dry. I added a little more butter to the second batch and it helped some. The center got hard and very chewy. In Denver so maybe it’s an altitude issue.

  7. I made these tonight. Tried the wooden spoon after reading the comments and consulting with a baker I know. The dough was also gritty and fell apart. I added 1 egg and a half teaspoon of salt, made the ball and rolled in granulated sugar before putting the thumbprint with filling and they were perfect. You could half the filling as I had a lot left over and when it cooks it bubbles over and creates a brittle. I also toppled with drizzled caramel.

    1. The paddle attachment is key to the dough coming together or you could have mixed it really well together with your hands.

  8. Did you change the recipe? I made these at thanksgiving and they came out perfect. I’m trying to make them again for Christmas abs I’m on my third try making the dough and it will not come together.

    1. Hi Katherine! No, I didn’t change the recipe and I made them recently with great success too. I’m wondering if your butter needed to be softer from the start? I’m actually making them again today so I’ll report back if I notice anything off with the way the recipe is written. Merry Christmas!

      1. Hi Diana! Absolutely! I would recommend letting it defrost in the refrigerator so you can form into balls and press into thumbprints. The dough will keep great in the refrigerator for up to 2 months if stored in a freezer-safe container or baggie. Enjoy!

  9. Oh no. Following the recipe exactly and using a stand mixer, my dough is not coming together. It is also grainy. Not sure how to save this batch.

    1. Hi Jill! Did you use softened butter? And an electric mixer with a paddle attachment? If so, you should be able to beat the dough until it comes together into a soft, thick ball.

  10. Yum, these were great. Going to try making the dough again and filling with jam. Tastes like my granny’s shortbread.

  11. Good shortbread. I followed everything to a T, used a stand mixer and had no problems. I first used my thumb to start the indent. But then used my teaspoon to really make it a perfect hole. Like others said, i had 1/3 of the filling left. I used a teaspoon to fill them and had 24 cookies so idk if i didnt chop my pecans enough but i wanted some crunch, not a dusty powder of nuts. You can definitely use like id say a HEAPING tspn of the filling into each cookie. Make sure the hole is deep enough, mine were and the filling didnt spill over. I also cut down cook time to 16 min.

    1. Hi Sarah! I haven’t tested the recipe with gluten free flour so I couldn’t say for sure, but I think it would work great if you’re using an all-purpose gluten free flour. Gluten free flour can sometimes make baked goods dry so I would recommend adding a few extra tablespoons of butter. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

  12. Just made these and i ended up getting 40 cookies. I used a 1 1/4” scoop all of the cookies ended up collapsing and the filling spilled out of the cookies. Haven’t tasted them but I’m sure they will taste just fine. Even with 40 cookies I had some filling left. Do you think if i chilled the dough that wouldn’t happen? Cooler oven maybe?

    1. Hi Linda! Are you sure you followed the ingredients and instructions correctly? Did you form the dough into 1-inch balls? Did you use softened butter for the dough? This dough should be very thick and not spread that much at all. I’m wondering if your cookie size was smaller which is why the filling spilled out and why you had some leftover. Did you use 1/2 teaspoon of filling per cookie? I hope they still tasted great and that you get to try them again soon with greater success!

  13. Just finished making these cookies. Although they taste delicious, the filling spewed out all over the edges of the cookies. They look really ugly. I followed the recipe exactly, made the correct number, and the filling was exactly the right amount. I used my stand up mixer. I am disappointed in that I was making them for an event, but my husband and I will eat them……..back to the kitchen to try another recipe.

  14. I just made these for Christmas. Because the recipe only makes 24 cookies I decided to double it, but ended up with 83 cookies and quite a bit of filling leftover. I guess getting extra cookies isn’t a bad thing since they still turned out great and I will be serving dinner for 20 of us.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do with the leftover filling?

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