Pecan Thumbprint Cookies are buttery shortbread cookies filled with pecans and topped with buttercream icing. They are like a Mexican Wedding cookie, but without the powdered sugar. The simple not too sweet cookie matches up perfectly with my favorite buttercream icing recipe. If you are a cookie fan you'll want to try these Pumpkin Pecan Cookies and my favorite Christmas cookie the Everything Cookie.
My mother-in-law makes Russian Tea cookies every year at Christmas time and I absolutely adore them. I decided to use her recipe and match it up with my buttercream icing. The combination is seriously delicious!
There isn't anything complicated about the ingredients needed for Pecan Thumbprint Cookies. These cookies don't call for any brown sugar or eggs and the only dry ingredients are salt and all-purpose flour.
HOW TO MAKE PECAN THUMBPRINT COOKIES
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Chop ½ cup pecans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed, beat 1 ¾ cup butter and ½ cup sugar until the mixture is creamy.
- Mix into the butter mixture 2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Add 3 cups flour.
- Finally, add ½ cup chopped pecans.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the bowl.
- Roll dough balls approximately 1" and place on prepared baking sheets. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, press the middle of each cookie to flatten. This will make it easier to add icing later.
- Bake cookies for 10 - 12 minutes. Place cookies on a cooling rack and cool completely before piping on the icing.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKING PECAN THUMBPRINT COOKIES
- If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for this cookie dough. To learn more about your stand mixer go to the Kitchen Aid website for information regarding which attachments work best for different applications.
- A large bowl and an electric mixer can be used for this cookie recipe.
- It's best to have the butter at room temperature when making both the cookie dough and the buttercream icing.
- Although you can make these cookies larger, my favorite size is 1-inch balls. A small cookie scoop works great.
- Don't over chop the pecans so that you can get a piece of pecan in every bite.
- These cookies do not spread so they can be placed relatively close to one another on the cookie sheet.
- I used a 1M tip for piping the icing. A Ziploc bag that has one corner clipped works great for applying icing too.
- If you would prefer, roll the cooled cookies in powdered sugar instead of adding the icing. This variation is really good too!
Make dough ahead of time.
Mix all ingredients and place in a large bowl covered in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until you are ready to bake. The dough will be good in the refrigerator for up to five days.
After baking the cookies, place in an airtight container and freezer for up to six months. Do not add icing to the cookies until you are ready to serve.
The cookie dough can also be frozen to be baked later. Store in an airtight freezer bag for up to 6 months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator before baking.
More Fall Treats
PECAN THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop ½ cup pecans and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until the mixture is creamy.
- Add 2 tsp Vanilla to the butter mixture.
- Mix in 3 cups flour and finally ½ cup chopped pecans.
- Roll dough into 1" balls and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet. With your thumb or the back of a spoon press flatten the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
- Cool cookies completely before piping on the icing.
- Beat 1 cup butter and 2 tsp vanilla until smooth.
- Gradually add in 4 cups powdered sugar, starting at a low speed working your way to a medium. Continue at medium speed for one to two minutes until everything is well combined.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl several times while the ingredients mix.
- Add 3-4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (half & half or milk will work) until you have the consistency you prefer. You want the icing to be stiff and cold before piping onto the cookies.