Coffee Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Today’s Christmas cookie recipe originated with a dear friend who has been making them for her friends and family for decades. She has always known these are my very favorite, so she was gracious enough to share her recipe with me.

However, in my anticipation, I was too impatient to chill the dough before baking. As a result, my thumbprints weren’t anywhere near as beautiful as hers. But the taste was still PERFECT!

There are a few lessons to take away from this:

  1. Always take the time to chill your dough when the recipe calls for it, even if you’re really excited.
  2. Icing covers a multitude of sins, and you guys, this icing is life.
  3. These cookies are so good, they’ll disappear faster than the time it takes to properly photograph them!

TIP: To be extra festive, split the icing in half between two bowls. Using food coloring, tint one half deep green and the other half bright red!

Coffee Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
(Recipe credit: Amanda Brooks)

1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/4 C brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour
3/4 cup pecans, chopped


1/2 C butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar
Smidge of brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add flour and stir until just combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate the dough balls for at least 1 hour.

Roll dough balls in egg white wash first, then in the chopped pecans. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and press your thumb in middle to create an imprint in the center.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, make the icing. In a medium bowl, place melted butter, vanilla and 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Whisk together. Add 1 TBSP milk and 1 TBSP coffee and combine. If your icing is too thin, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add more milk. Continue until you get a smooth consistency that is not too thick, not too thin. You’ll know it’s ready when the icing forms a ribbon as it drops when you hold the whisk above the bowl.

Spoon icing into the divots of the cooled cookies. Let the icing harden before serving.

4 thoughts on “Coffee Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Pingback: 2021 Mainstay Christmas Goodies Platter | Mainstay Kitchen & Home

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