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Pecan pie thumbprint cookies on a white ceramic plate

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

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These festive Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies are a simple way to enjoy the flavors of a classic pecan pie without all the effort. Buttery dark brown sugar cookies are filled with a mixture of pecans, brown sugar and heavy cream!

Pecan pie thumbprint cookies in a white bowl

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

These simple thumbprint cookies were the surprise hit of my book club gathering last week. As a lover of pecan pie and the wife of a picky dude who would never take a bite of any nut laden dish, I thought these pecan pie cookies would let me get my fix.

After one bite, a dear friend quickly asked if the recipe was on my blog. Then another friend inquired as well. I shared them with my knitting group and they were given high praise once again! So if you’re on the fence about making a pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year, consider taking the easy route and making these wonderful pecan pie thumbprint cookies!

3 pecan pie thumbprint cookies on an oval plate

Tips for Making These Pecan Pie Cookies

Even if you’ve never made thumbprint cookies before, I guarantee these cookies are super easy to prepare! Here are some tips to guide you.

  • Use a cookie disher to make even sized dough balls. I used a medium OXO scoop.
  • Roll the dough balls between your palms until they are nice spheres.
  • I use a teaspoon measuring spoon to make an indentation in each dough ball. Greasing the rounded bottom side with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray prevents the dough from attaching to your spoon. You can also use your thumb! That’s where the name “thumbprint” cookies originated.
  • Remember that the “well” in each dough ball should be able to hold about 1 rounded teaspoon of pecan filling. Make sure your well or thumbprint is deep enough to hold a decent amount of filling.
  • Using parchment paper on your baking sheets makes for super easy cleanup and prevents sticking if some of the filling oozes over the side of a cookie or two.
  • If you only have one baking sheet, make sure it’s cool before making a second batch. A warm cookie sheet will cause the cookie dough to warm up before it even hits the oven, and the resulting cookies could be flatter and possibly misshapen.
  • PRO-Tip: If some of your cookies don’t bake up into perfect spheres, you can use a spatula to tap the sides into shape while they are hot and fresh out of the oven.

If you like the sound of these pecan pie thumbprint cookies, check out my Boozy Pecan Pie and these Pecan Tassies, which are really just mini pecan pies. This Pecan Toffee Pretzel Bark looks incredible (and easy) and I’m loving these Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars, too!


Love this recipe? Please consider rating it in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

3 pecan pie thumbprint cookies on an oval plate

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Brown sugar thumbprint cookies filled with a mixture of chopped pecans, brown sugar and cream to mimic the flavors of pecan pie!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Baking, Mixing
  • Cuisine: American



1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Cream brown sugar and butter until well combined. Mix in egg, then vanilla. Add flour and baking powder and mix until incorporated.

Using a medium sized cookie disher, scoop out rounds of dough and roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, and set aside to make filling.

Mix together filling ingredients in a small bowl. Fill each cookie with a rounded teaspoon of filling.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Adapted from Land o’ Lakes.

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14 comments on “Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies”

  1. I love the idea of pecan pie in cookie form…yummy and totally irresistible!

  2. These cookies would be dangerous around here! They sound amazing and look very pretty:@)

  3. I love pecans and they are a luxury item over here (as with all nuts!). I have always been curious about pecan pie but I think these Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies are a good place to start!

  4. These are a definite “must make” cookie for the holidays! I can’t wait to make these for the family!!

  5. This was such a great idea. I like having just a bite of pecan pie and in finger food form!

  6. what delicious cookiesd Lizzy, look delicious, hugs!

  7. These cookies look melt in your mouth, Liz! I have to make a batch for the holidays, but I’m so afraid that I won’t be able to stay out of them!

  8. Gorgeous, Liz! Love that pretty pecan pie filling!

  9. These look really good! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  10. These are such a delicious idea! Sign me up!

  11. Do you use light or dark brown sugar? The recipe doesn’t specify. 

  12. I just made these today but in a mini muffin tin! so good! but I used walnuts

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