I’m back with more Christmas cookie sharing. Today’s recipe are these tasty angel thumbprint cookies. They’re the perfect Christmas cookie!
This recipe comes straight from a recipe binder that I made in middle school. I’m not sure if it is a family recipe or where it came from, exactly. But I can tell you that it has been years since I’ve made these cookies because they’re not a yearly cookie at my house.
I just recently conducted an Instagram poll on my account asking people what their favorite Christmas cookie was. Several of you said thumbprint cookies. So I thought I would give you my version, as well!
These are perfectly crispy shortbread cookies. They’re made with brown sugar to give them a deep, caramel flavor. Then you roll them in pecans (hello!) and top them with jam.
The cookies get their name because you smash them with your thumb before you bake them. Well, not totally smash. But you make an indent in the cookie dough with your finger to make a perfect little nest for the jam.
If you want to whip these up now to eat around Christmas, I would recommend baking and freezing them without the jam. Once the cookies have thawed, add the jam and you’re good to go! Also, after you have put the jam in the middle, I’d recommend storing these in the fridge. Just let them come to room temp before you eat them.
I hope you love these as much as I do!
Angel Thumbprint Cookies
Perfectly buttery cookies rolled in pecans and filled with your favorite jam. The perfect Christmas cookie!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped raw pecans
- your favorite jam
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) cream the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until well mixed, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix well until incorporated. Add flour and salt. On low speed, mix until no more dry flour remains. Be careful not to overmix.
Roll dough into small balls (about a heaping half tablespoon and 1 inch big). Lightly whisk the egg whites to help break up the proteins. Dip dough balls into egg whites then into pecans to coat evenly. Evenly arrange the cookies on the cookie sheets, about 16-20 cookies per sheet. (I bake one sheet at a time and rotate sheets.) Make an indent in the middle of each cookie with your thumb.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are very lightly browned. If some of the cookies have lost their indent because of the baking, you can press it back down with a half teaspoon measuring spoon while the cookies are still warm.
Allow cookies to completely cool on a cooling rack, then fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite jam. Enjoy!
If you would like to freeze these cookies, I would recommend baking and freezing them without the jam. Once the cookies have thawed, add the jam and you're good to go! Also, after you have put the jam in the middle, I'd recommend storing these in the fridge. Just let them come to room temp before you eat them.