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52 Weeks of Baking: Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies For When You Don't Want to Bother With Crust

Pecan pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts, but that doesn't mean I always have the patience (or time) for making pie crust from scratch, toasting nuts, and all of the other steps necessary for its assembly. That's where these tender, nutty thumbprint cookies come into play. No, they're not an exact analogue to the Southern favorite, but they satisfy the craving in less than half the time and are delicious in their own right. What's more, these are considerably sturdier, making them a better candidate for tucking into a care package for a loved one or toting into the office for a co-worker's birthday.

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies


  1. 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar, divided
  5. 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  8. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  9. 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together 1 cup brown sugar with the butter on medium-high, until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula between additions. Mix together until just combined.
  3. Shape dough into roughly 1 1/4-inch balls using a #50 disher. Place 2 inches apart onto the parchment-lined pans. Make an indentation in each cookie with your thumb, rotating your thumb to hollow it out into a round well.
  4. Whisk together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and cream in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Fold in the pecans. Fill the well of each cookie with a scant teaspoon of the pecan filling. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool for 2-3 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
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