These pecan thumbprint cookies are topped with the most delicious chocolate buttercream icing. Easy and quick to make with pantry staple ingredients, these cookies are sure to be the star of any Christmas cookie exchange!

Three pecan thumbprint cookies on a white plate with text overlay
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I’ve been busy baking for the 12 Days of Cookies! A few weeks ago, I made these pecan thumbprint cookies with chocolate butter based off of cookies Chris loved in Kansas City.

I have been looking for an opportunity to recreate them and I thought The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap would be a great way to show off these melt-in-your-mouth pecan cookies!

Pecans have long been used in all types of baking. I’ve got a great variety of pecan recipes you’ll love! Check out Chocolate Chip Pecan SnowballsSalted Caramel Pecan Pie BarsPecan Pie Cookies, Pecan Thumbprints and more!

I mailed these cookies to 3 fabulous bloggers across the US and received a few dozen amazing cookies via mail…it’s no wonder I rush to the mailbox like a child with delight. Okay, back to the buttery baked goodness…

To Make Thumbprint Cookies, You Will Need:

  • Butter – Unsalted butter is best, and real butter rather than margerine.
  • Powdered Sugar –Also known as confectioners’ sugar. This fine sugar adds sweetness to the cookies and mixes into the dough really well.
  • Pecans
  • Vanilla Extract – You can make your own, or use store  bought. If you buy it, it’s best to use pure vanilla rather than imitation if you can.
  • Flour – All purpose flour is best for this recipe, use your favorite brand.
  • For the chocolate buttercream icing – Butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and heavy cream or milk.

How to Make Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop pecans until fine in a food processor. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  4. Beat in flour and pecans.
  5. Roll into balls and use the back of a cookie scoop to make a well.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  7. Beat butter, gradually add in powdered sugar and cocoa. It will be stiff. Use a tablespoon of milk if needed. Pipe onto cookies.
A chocolate iced pecan thumbprint cookie on a table

Top Tips To Make Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Butter

  • Let the cookies cool too room temperature before adding the icing, and don’t add the icing if you plan on freezing them.
  • If the icing is too stiff when you mix it, add a tablespoon of milk or cream to loosen it up slightly.
  • Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven either on cookie sheets or on a parchment lined baking tray.
Overhead shot of iced cookies on a plate

What Do These Pecan Cookies Taste Like?

The base tastes like an incredible sugar cookie with a hint of pecan. They’re so smooth. They’re topped with a thick chocolate buttercream icing, which I like to call chocolate butter. It’s the perfect compliment. I do have one confession to make – I was a little stingy with the icing. Normally I’d fill the top of the cookie, but I thought these would mail better. Don’t miss my tips to pack and ship cookies if you plan to do so this Christmas.

Can You Make Pecan Thumbprint Cookies Ahead Of Time?

These cookies will easily last for about 5 to 7 days when stored in an airtight container making them perfect for shipping and cookie exchanges. If you like, you can also freeze them: Don’t add the icing and freeze them on a baking tray before transferring to a container or freezer bag. Thaw them at room temperature and add the icing before serving.

Recipe Variations

These cookies really are perfect just as they are, but if you like, you could swap out the chocolate buttercream icing for my Marshmallow Icing or Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting.

Three chocolate iced pecan thumbprint cookies ready to eat

If you try these pecan thumbprint cookies, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! 

Hungry for more? Get my BEST Baking Secrets delivered directly to your inbox and connect on instagram facebook and pinterest!

Melt in your mouth amazing pecan cookies with chocolate buttercream - get the recipe!
4.86 from 7 votes

Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Butter

These pecan thumbprint cookies are topped with the most delicious chocolate buttercream icing. Easy and quick to make with pantry staple ingredients, these cookies are sure to be the star of any Christmas cookie exchange!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
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Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop pecans until fine in a food processor. Set aside.
  • Beat butter, powdered sugar & vanilla.
  • Beat in flour & pecans.
  • Roll into balls & use the back of a cookie scoop to make a well.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes.
  • Beat butter, gradually add in powdered sugar & cocoa. It will be stiff. Use a tablespoon of milk if needed. Pipe onto cookies.

Julie’s Tips

  • Let the cookies cool too room temperature before adding the icing, and don’t add the icing if you plan on freezing them.
  • If the icing is too stiff when you mix it, add a tablespoon of milk or cream to loosen it up slightly.
  • Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven either on cookie sheets or on a parchment lined baking tray.
Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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8 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Thanks for the delicious recipe. Pretty close to McClains thumbprint cookies. Theirs have a tiny taste of salt in the cookie itself which I love. Any thoughts on how much salt I might add to get the hint of salt to balance the sweetness? Appreciate your thoughts.

  2. 5 stars
    These are delicious and very similar to Mclain’s bakery cookies. I doubled the frosting recipe and cut the amount of cocoa in 1/2 to be a lighter chocolate like Mclains:)

    1. Yay! That’s what I was going for! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing your tip, Erin! Hope you try more of my cookie recipes!