Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are soft and chewy, with all the spiced gingerbread goodness, and the added bonus of a molasses white chocolate filling and chopped pecans on top!
Gingerbread, in all its many forms, seems to be one of those flavors that in quintessentially Christmas. Gingerbread men, houses, breads, cookies, coffee, etc. It’s almost as prominent as pumpkin spice in the fall. And while I’m not a PSL or gingerbread fanatic, I do love a good molasses and spice-filled gingerbread cookie, like these Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies.
I’m not sure specifically what it is about these cookies that makes me swoon, but I would venture to say that the molasses white chocolate filling you see there has a little something to do with it. Perhaps.
I was very fortunate this past week to have my good friend Kylee of Kylee Cooks come for a visit and spend a few days working on recipes and photo shoots. I always learn a lot from her and really enjoyed the face-time with her! It’s always fun to reflect on where we started, how far we’ve come, and where we’d still like to go, in the blogging world.
These delicious cookies were the first recipe we photographed together, and we had so much fun doing it. There may have also been some taste-testing going on in between. See there, a cookie snatcher in the midst!
But really, these Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are soft and chewy, like gingerbread cookies should be, with a rich molasses white chocolate filling, and crunchy chopped pecans on top. And, they have pecan meal in the cookies themselves, so their also akin to pecan cookies, eh? Each bite is the perfect texture and they taste amazing. Oh, and while they’re baking – your house is going to smell like Christmas. There’s a reason they make candles that smell like gingerbread, ya know?
Let’s just say I had a hard time keeping these cookies put up until I made the filling. Some little hands – and big, alike – were grabbing them off the cooling rack before I got to that part! Little cookie thieves. I actually had to make the filling a couple of days later due to time constraints, and let me just tell you, these cookies hold up great, stored in an airtight container. They stayed soft and chewy, and still stored great after the filling was in. Which makes these a great make-ahead holiday cookie. And we all know that when it comes to holiday preparation, the more we can do ahead of time, the better – right?!?!
Can Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies be frozen?
Why yes, my dear friends, they can. But as I say with most desserts that have any type of frosting or topping, it’s best to freeze them before that step. So, with these Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies, you have a couple of options.
To freeze before baking:
Make the dough, form it into balls and place on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a large reusuable plastic bag, then freeze until ready to bake. Pull out and let thaw on the counter for a half hour or so before baking according the directions below.
To freeze after baking:
Follow the instructions through the baking and cooling steps. Once they are completely cooled, place in a large resealable plastic bag or airtight container and freeze until ready to serve. Allow to thaw, then make the molasses white chocolate filling and complete the steps for the filling and chopped pecans on top. Voila!
Make sure you add these Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies to your holiday baking list and watch how quickly they win your Christmas-loving heart over!
If you love this recipe, here are a few more holiday-flavored recipes to try!
– Gingerbread Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
– Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Bread
– Homemade Gingerbread Latte by Kylee Cooks
Follow me on Pinterest for more great recipes!
Pecan Gingerbrad Thumbprint Cookies
- 2 ½ cups flour (I use white whole wheat)
- ½ cup pecan meal*
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling
- ½ cup chopped pecan pieces for topping
Molasses White Chocolate Filling
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl if using a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugars on medium-high speed, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add molasses and mix at medium speed until combined. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Use spatula to scoop dough all towards the center of the mixing bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours. Longer is ok, just make sure the plastic wrap is covering the dough so it doesn’t get hard around the edges.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper. Place your remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl good for rolling the dough balls in.
- Using a medium cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough and roll in your hands to make a nice ball.
- Roll each ball in the bowl of sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart.**
- Use a measuring spoon (teaspoon is a good size), carefully press down the center of each cookie dough ball, to make an indention (the thumbprint!), but don’t press all the way to the cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies about 7-9 minutes. Cookies will still be soft, and the indented center will have puffed backup – just use your measuring spoon to press it back down while warm. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Make sure they are completely cooled before adding the filling.
- Note: If you are making ahead and want to freeze, this is the point at which you will want to freeze the baked cookies!
To Make the Filling
- Over low heat, melt white chocolate chips and milk in a small saucepan. Stir in molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Spoon filling into the thumbprint of each cookie – about ½ tablespoon per cookie, but you may want to add a little more. Top with chopped pecans and allow filling to cool and set about 10 minutes prior to serving. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck
Wow! Tons of flavor in this sweet little cookie! And so pretty too!