Salted Caramel & Pecan Thumbprints are a rich cookie rolled in pecans and filled with a decadent salted caramel frosting for a sweet dessert that is perfect for the holidays!
It’s blowing my mind that December is here already! One of my favorite holiday traditions with the boys is baking! We make a few different cookies and then every night after dinner we sit down as a family to eat our treats and watch Christmas specials. I love to get cozy with the boys in Christmas blankets and watch some of the same Christmas movies I watched as a kid!
This year I’m sharing our favorites for 12 Days of Cookies here on Real Housemoms! I’m going to be making it easy to plan your holiday baking! You’re going to LOVE the cookies I’m sharing with you this year! I hope you’re able to take the time to get into the kitchen with the people you love and make amazing memories! I’m starting my Christmas cookie baking this year with Salted Caramel & Pecan Thumbprint Cookies!
SALTED CARAMEL & PECAN THUMBPRINT COOKIES
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If you’re looking for a great dessert to bring to that office party or holiday get-together, these thumbprint cookies are it! The cookies are dense but moist and the pecans they’re rolled in are nice and toasted for added flavor and crunch. They remind me of a Pecan Pie Recipe. As for the salted caramel frosting, I could basically eat it by the spoonful, but I refrained for the most part and enjoyed it with the cookies for the perfect balance of sweetness.
These cookies are so simple to make but here are some tips to make your life simple.
- Don’t trade the shortening for butter. Shortening and butter create different textures in the cookies. This cookie will hold its shape and stay chewy with the shortening.
- Line your baking sheet with silicone mats. Silicone mats help to make your cookies bake more evenly no matter what baking sheet you’re using. This means your cookies will turn out with perfectly browned bottoms and you won’t have those burned bottoms we all hate! If you don’t have silicone mats don’t let that stop you, grab that parchment paper, and get baking.
- Use the knuckle of your finger or the backside of a melon baller or cookie scoop to make a nice round deepish indent to hold the caramel filling.
- When the cookies come out of the oven while they’re still warm, press the center of the cookies down again to make sure that they will still hold the filling well.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Go ahead and make a large batch and freeze the extra right away after they’ve cooled completely and been filled. That way you can spend more time with the family or sipping egg nog! When you’re ready to serve them just pull them out of the freezer and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
Want more easy Christmas cookie recipes?
- Soft Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
- Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
- Santa Claus Cookies
- Chocolate Snowballs
- Buttered Rum Snickerdoodles
- Peppermint Patty Stuffed Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- More dessert recipes…
Tools used to make this Salted Caramel & Pecan Thumbprint Cookies recipe
Stand Mixer: I don’t know what I’d do without my stand mixer. I use it for just about everything…and I mean everything! Cakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, and shredding chicken!
Silicone Baking Mat: I use a silicone mat on my baking sheet practically every time I bake. The mat makes for easy cleanup and my foods don’t stick to the pan.
Baking Sheet: A nice big baking sheet is a must-have for any kitchen. This half pan sheet is large than a regular cookie and works great for anything you’re baking.
Cookie Scoop: Cookie scoops are my favorite way to portion dough and batter when I’m baking. This set has 3 different sizes so I get the right amount in each scoop.
Rubber Spatula: Rubber spatulas are one of those kitchen tools you don’t realize how much you use until they’re all dirty. This set of three spatulas in various sizes and shapes will make cooking everything from dinner to dessert a breeze.
Double Boiler: Growing up we’d just set a bowl over boiling water, but having an actual double boiler is SO great when I’m making lots of treats to share with friends and family!
- ¼ c. shortening
- ¼ c. butter or margarine
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 egg separated
- ¾ c. chopped pecans
- 2/3 c. caramels melted
- 1/3 c. whipping cream
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
Bake the Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, mix shortening, butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth.
- Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl and slowly add into the mixture.
- Roll into one inch balls, dip balls into slightly beaten egg white, then roll into chopped pecans.
- Arrange on a lined cookie sheet and indent the middle of each cookie gently with your thumb. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven, use your thumb to reinforce the indent in each cookie. Allow cookies to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling melt the caramels in the microwave or over a double boiler. Mix the caramels with the whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and sea salt. Mix until smooth.
- Top each thumbprint with icing and store in an airtight container.
- Freeze any extras the same day for the freshest cookies.
More delicious holiday treats!