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Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

These Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies are a fusion of flavors combining Southern pecan pie and buttery homemade cookies into one irresistible treat.


Easy Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

When it comes to pecan pie, there’s no end to the way it can be transformed into other desserts. In my world, just like my love of banana pudding, my theory is, why on earth should we limit that flavor combination to only one dessert. Pecan pie is served year-round in the South, but it reaches a crescendo around the holidays. Rightly so, it makes a spectacular addition to the dessert table for family, church and office gatherings. To make Pecan Pie Cookies:

  • Begin by using a mixer to cream together softened butter with vanilla and brown sugar.
  • Add the egg beating until it’s fully incorporated. This is a terrific time to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients beating just until combined and no dry flour spots remain. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to be sure it’s all combined.
  • Form the cookie dough into balls and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, then make an indentation in the center.
  • To make the filling in a small bowl, mix together the chopped pecans, heavy cream, vanilla and brown sugar. Divide this filling evenly between the cookies.
  • Bake per the recipe in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes then cool and enjoy!

How to Make the Best Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies: All purpose flour, baking powder, butter, salt, vanilla extract, light brown sugar, large eggs, chopped pecans and heavy cream.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer, a nut chopper or a sharp knife and chopping board, sheet pans, mixing bowls, a small saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk to sift the dry ingredients and a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop.
  • When making cookies, soft room temperature butter combines the best with the dry ingredients.
  • Once the cookie dough is made, it’s important to chill the dough to allow the fat in the dough to firm before rolling into balls. Otherwise, they will spread too much when baking.
  • You can use a small scoop to divide the dough or a tablespoon, if needed. It’s important to keep them uniform in size.
  • The yield for this recipe like any cookie recipe, can vary slightly. You will be able to get around 32-36 cookies from this batch, depending on how the cookie dough is divided.
  • When baking in batches, keep the cookie dough chilled between each batch to prevent them from spreading too much.
  • The chopped pecans for this recipe are easier to work with if you use the size you’d find in the baking section of the grocery store. Finely chopped is best.
  • When making the center thumbprint for the filling, you don’t have to feel like you should flatten the cookie. The cookie will naturally spread while baking. Think along the lines of an indentation that’s bowl-like to hold the filling.
  • Store baked Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

More Southern Pecan Pie Recipes to Make

There are no shortage of ways to incorporate pecans into savory and sweet recipes. A few additional desserts you may like to try:


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Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Cooling time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 2 minutes
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pecan-cookie-recipes, pecan-pie-cookies, southern-pecan-pie
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 124kcal


  • Cookie Dough:
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pecan Pie filling:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • To make cookie dough: Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla beating at high speed for about 3-5 minutes or until fluffy and light beige in color. Add egg, beat well.
  • In a separated bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low speed gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture beating just until fully combined.
  • Cover and chill dough for 30-45 minutes. Use a small scoop or a Tbsp to divide the dough. Shape dough into approximately 1 ½ inch balls, placing at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. (Make sure there are no cracks and dough is smooth)
  • To make the filling: In a small bowl, mix together pecans, brown sugar, cream and vanilla.
  • To fill: Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball, rotating to hollow out slightly. Fill with 1 rounded tsp of filling. (You can also use a teaspoon or the back of a small scoop to hollow) 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until lightly golden. Cool on pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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