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!
This post and recipe was created for #ChristmasCookies! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% my own.
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
Make sure you check out the other Christmas cookie recipes from today, check out the prize packages our sponsors are giving away and ENTER the giveaway, below!
For more great recipes, follow me on Pinterest!
- 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
- 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!
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.
*If you don’t have pecan meal, just use an extra 1/2 cup of flour in it’s place (so 3 cups of flour instead of 2 1/2)
**If you place the cookies closer together, you will wind up with a cookie cake – ha! They spread a good bit, so give them some room!
Thank you to Ellen of Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week! And a huge thank you to our sponsors Adams Extract and Millican Pecan Company for supporting the bloggers and events like Christmas Cookies Week.
Check out today’s cookie recipes:
Christmas Funfetti Pecan Shortbread Bites by Family Around the Table
Eggnog Snickerdoodles by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Melody Cookies by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Papaya Glazed Macadamia Shortbread by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies by Sweet Beginnings
Pecan Pie Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes
Pecan Whiskey Cookies by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Soft Cinnamon Apple Pecan Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Prize 1 – Millican Pecan Tower of Treats Gift Tins
Originally founded as the West Texas Pecan Nursery in the late 1800’s, Millican Pecan is now in 5th generation ownership. Located in San Saba, TX, the family continues the tradition of pecan farming while also branching the business into the online world. The family also enjoys educating people about pecans. One winner will receive The Tower of Treats Gift Tins. The tower includes 3 decorative gift tins stacked on top of each other. The bottom tin includes our 2 lb. Chocolate Pecan Sampler, the middle tin is our Flavored Pecan Sampler and the top tin is a 8 oz. tin of Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles). An $80 value.
Prize 2 – Adams Extract Prize Pack
Adams traces its beginnings back to Battle Creek, Michigan, when John A. Adams began making and selling his Green Plant Sarsaparilla extract, Adamur, in 1888. In 1905, he moved his family to Beeville, TX. At the time, most vanilla sold to pharmacies and was often labeled “Do not bake or freeze.” John A. Adams’ wife yearned for a flavoring that wouldn’t bake or freeze out. He announced that he could produce a better vanilla than the one his wife was currently using. Working with just $6.71 worth of materials on top of an old icebox, John A. Adams discovered the formula he wanted. To test this product, his wife whipped up a cake for the family to try. “John, this is the BEST flavoring I have ever used,” she announced. “Well, that’s old man Adams BEST,” he responded.
Two (2) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #ChristmasCookies bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and contest is open only to US residents. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookies posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan Company, and Adams Extracts and Flavorings for providing prizes.