Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies are buttery cookies rolled in chopped pecans, baked then filled with warm caramel! Gooey caramel thumbprint cookies perfect for holiday dessert trays!
Thumbprint Cookies are a classic treat that is perfect for any occasion. These cookies are easy to make and are sure to impress your guests with their delicious taste and beautiful presentation. With a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a sweet, gooey caramel filling, these cookies are a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone wanting more.
To make these cookies, you will need a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The recipe calls for butter, shortening, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, salt, chopped pecans, and warm caramel. By following the step-by-step instructions, you can create a batch of these delicious cookies in no time.
Why You’ll Love these Thumbprint Cookies
If you’re a fan of sweet treats, these Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are sure to satisfy your cravings. They’re made with a delicious combination of butter, shortening, brown sugar, and vanilla extract, which gives them a rich and indulgent flavor that’s hard to resist.
One of the best things about these cookies is the texture. They’re crunchy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside, thanks to the chopped pecans that are mixed into the dough. The warm caramel filling adds an extra layer of sweetness and richness that takes these cookies to the next level.
Ingredients for Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Butter and Shortening
The recipe for Caramel Thumbprint Cookies requires 1/2 cup of both butter and shortening. The butter provides a rich flavor and helps the cookies brown while the shortening contributes to the cookies’ texture. Using both ingredients together creates a perfect balance of flavor and texture.
Brown Sugar and Eggs
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed. Brown sugar adds a caramel-like flavor to the cookies, making them even more delicious. The recipe also requires 2 eggs, separated from whites. The yolks provide moisture and richness to the dough, while the egg whites help the pecans adhere to the cookies.
Vanilla Extract, Flour and Salt
The recipe calls for 1 tsp of vanilla extract, which enhances the flavor of the cookies. Additionally, 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp of salt are needed to create the dough. Flour provides structure to the cookies, while salt balances the sweetness and enhances the flavor.
Chopped Pecans and Warm Caramel
The recipe requires 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans, which add a nutty crunch to the cookies. The pecans are also used to coat the dough balls, providing a beautiful and delicious finish. Finally, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of warm caramel, which is used to fill the thumbprint of each cookie. The caramel adds a sweet and gooey center to the cookies, making them irresistible.
Preparation of Dough
Mixing of Ingredients
To prepare the dough for Caramel Thumbprint Cookies, the ingredients must be mixed thoroughly. The butter, shortening, brown sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract should be combined in a bowl and mixed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
In a separate bowl, the flour and salt should be whisked together. Then, the dry ingredients should be added to the butter mixture and mixed until fully combined. It is recommended to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Formation of Dough Balls
Once the dough is mixed, it should be shaped into balls. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out approximately 2 teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. The dough balls should then be dipped into beaten egg whites and rolled in chopped pecans until fully coated.
Preheating and Setup
To begin making Caramel Thumbprint Cookies, preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This will prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet and ensure they cook evenly.
Baking and Indentation
Place the dough balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Use a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to indent the middle of each cookie dough ball. This will create a well for the warm caramel to be added later.
Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes. Once removed from the oven, use the 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to indent each cookie again, pressing sides back together when needed, if cookies cracked. This will ensure the well is deep enough to hold the caramel.
The warm caramel filling is the star of these delicious caramel thumbprint cookies. It’s important to use a high-quality caramel that is soft when warmed and easy to work with. One easy way to fill the cookies is to use a small spoon. Be sure to fill the cookies generously to ensure a delicious caramel center in every bite.
After filling the cookies with caramel, it’s important to let them cool to set. This will ensure that the caramel doesn’t ooze out of the cookies when they are stored or eaten. Place the cookies on a wire rack and let them cool completely. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the cookies in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the caramel set more quickly. Once the caramel has set, the cookies are ready to be enjoyed!
Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs yolks separated from whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
- ½ cup warm caramel
- Preheat oven 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- Mix butter, shortening, brown sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla thoroughly with an electric mixer.
- Whisk flour and salt together in a separate bowl. Combine dry ingredients with butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Beat egg white with fork. Scoop 2 teaspoon sized portions of dough and roll into balls. Dip dough balls into egg whites. Transfer to chopped pecans and coat thoroughly.
- Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Use a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to indent the middle of each cookie dough ball.
- Bake 10 – 12 minutes. Once you remove the tray of cookies from the oven, use the 1/2 tsp measuring spoon and indent each cookie again, pressing sides back together when needed, if cookies cracked.
- Fill each cookie with warm caramel. Let cool to set. Enjoy!
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How to Store Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed for days after they are made, but it is important to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh. Here are some tips on how to store Caramel Thumbprint Cookies:
- Store in an airtight container: Once the cookies have cooled and the caramel has set, place them in an airtight container. This will help to keep them fresh and prevent them from drying out.
- Keep at room temperature: Caramel Thumbprint Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you plan on storing them for longer than that, it is best to freeze them.
- Freeze for longer storage: To freeze Caramel Thumbprint Cookies, place them in a single layer in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply remove them from the freezer and let them come to room temperature.
- Avoid stacking: If you do need to stack the cookies, be sure to place a layer of parchment paper between them to prevent them from sticking together.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your Caramel Thumbprint Cookies stay fresh and delicious for days to come.
How to Freeze Thumbprint Cookies
Caramel thumbprint cookies can be frozen for later use. Here are some tips on how to freeze them properly:
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before freezing. Putting warm cookies in the freezer can cause them to become soggy.
- Wrap the cookies individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn and to keep them fresh.
- Place the wrapped cookies in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Label the container with the date and contents.
- Store the cookies in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To thaw frozen thumbprint cookies, remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave them on low power for a few seconds until they are thawed.
Note that freezing may affect the texture of the cookies, and they may not be as crispy as when they are freshly baked. However, they will still taste delicious and make a great treat for any occasion.
Ideas for Gift Giving Thumbprint Cookies
Caramel thumbprint cookies are a delicious treat that can be gifted on various occasions. They are perfect for Christmas, birthdays, or as a thank-you gift. Here are a few ideas for gift-giving thumbprint cookies:
Thumbprint cookies can be included in gift baskets along with other treats, such as chocolates, candies, and other baked goods. They can also be paired with a bottle of wine or a box of tea to make a thoughtful gift.
Caramel thumbprint cookies can be used as party favors for weddings, baby showers, or other events. They can be placed in small boxes or bags and tied with a ribbon to match the theme of the event.
Caramel thumbprint cookies can be a great addition to corporate gift baskets or as a thank-you gift for clients. They can be customized with the company logo or colors to make them more personal.
Homemade caramel thumbprint cookies can be a thoughtful and personal gift for friends and family. They can be packaged in a decorative tin or box and tied with a ribbon.
Overall, caramel thumbprint cookies are a versatile and delicious treat that can be gifted on various occasions. They are easy to make and can be customized to suit any taste or preference.
Buttery shortbread cookies rolled in pecans, baked and filled with a sweet caramel! Delightful caramel thumbprint cookies perfect for the holidays!