Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are a great one to pull off last minute as the dough doesn’t have to chill and there’s very little fuss. The number of cookies your recipe will yield will depend on the size of cookie scoop you use. If you use a smaller scoop than the one linked to above, you’ll yield more cookies (and, likewise, you could make larger thumbprints and only yield, say, ten cookies). It’s all good either way – just something to be mindful of if you’re baking for a crowd or aiming to get a very specific number of cookies.

A sidenote: I typically find recipes that call for 1/8 teaspoon fussy, but you’ll see that noted in the crumble topping below. Feel free to just use a generous pinch of each spice instead of digging for your 1/8 teaspoon, and you’ll come out just fine.


For the Filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown corn syrup
1/4 cup (25g) chopped Diamond pecans

For the Crumble Topping:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons chopped Diamond pecans

For the Cookies:

1 1/4 (150g) cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (140g) whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (105g) turbinado sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the filling: In a small saucepan, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pecans and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool while you prepare the crumble and filling.

For the Crumble Topping: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. Add the butter and using your fingertips, work the mixture together until all of the ingredients are combined. Fold in the pecans (the mixture will be quite crumbly, but there shouldn’t be any floury bits). Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together both flours and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using electric hand beaters), cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the yolk and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, continuing to mix only until all the dry bits are combined. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure there aren’t floury bits on the bottom.

Shape dough into even balls using a medium cookie scoop (or, if you don’t have one, use a heaping 1 tablespoon), placing them on prepared cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Using your thumb, gently form an indentation in the middle of each cookie (start with a small indentation here. Be careful not to press all the way through to the pan and try to avoid deep cracks along the sides of the cookies as the filling can seep out).

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from the oven. If the indentations are starting to disappear, reinforce and widen just a bit with your thumb, again taking care not to cause cracks along the sides where the filling could seep out.

Spoon pecan filling just to the top of each cookie (don’t overflow!), and scatter a generous spoonful of crumble topping over the tops of each. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown. The filling will firm up as it cools.

Cool on pan 5 minutes, then move to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies are best eaten within 3 days, and can be stored, covered, at room temperature.