Bourbon Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

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
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. (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
  1. 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.



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