These nutty thumbprints are the classic Southern pairing of bourbon and pecans in cookie form. Like a pecan pie but perfect for sharing, these Bourbon Pecan Thumbprint Cookies are chock-full of pecans, smoky notes of bourbon, and a gooey caramel pecan filling. It’ll be nearly impossible to eat just one of these sticky, sweet cookies!
Bourbon Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 20 cookies
- ⅓ cup (38 grams) chopped pecans
- 11/3 cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) canola oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) bourbon Bourbon Pecan Filling (recipe follows)
- Garnish: pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse chopped pecans until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl; add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, whisking to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, oil, and bourbon, beating well. With mixer on low speed, gradually add pecan mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined.
- Using a 11/2-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough into mounds (about 30 grams each). Using floured hands, roll each mound into a smooth ball, and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Using your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently make an indentation in center of each ball that is deep enough to hold filling.
- Bake until edges are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spoon about 1 teaspoon
- (6 grams) warm Bourbon Pecan Filling into center of each cookie. Top with pecan halves, if desired.
Bourbon Pecan Filling
Makes about 1 cup
- ¾ cup (85 grams) chopped toasted pecans
- ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (113 grams) dark corn syrup
- 21/2 tablespoons (35 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) bourbon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan, stir together all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium- low; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately.