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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
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!
- 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
- 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 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 Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the pecans until well combined.
- 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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
Do you think I could substitute gluten free flour?
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!
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.
Yum, these were great. Going to try making the dough again and filling with jam. Tastes like my granny’s shortbread.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Can I make the dough in advance and freeze it? How long would it last in the freezer?
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!
Epic fail! Dough did not come together. Made exactly according to recipe except I didn’t have paddle attachment.
The paddle attachment is key to the dough coming together or you could have mixed it really well together with your hands.
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.
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