Does any time say it better than Christmas?
There is this little local bakery here that makes a thumbprint similar to this one. Sometimes I stop in just to nap one…or four. They are a one bite treat that just makes your day. And they are super cute for your Christmas cookie platter for kids – young and old.
Start with the cookies.
In a mixing bowl, toss in one cup of butter that’s been out at room temperature. Or, if you’re like me, toss it in the microwave on low for 30 seconds. You can also toss it in your KitchenAid and beat it on high to soften it up.
Take two eggs and add them one at a time, mixing after each one.
Also add one teaspoon of vanilla. Use the good stuff, not the imitations. It’s the only way to go.
In a separate bowl, mix together four cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of cream of tarter and one teaspoon of salt.
With your mixer on low, start adding this one cup at a time to your already mixed wet ingredients.
Chop up 2 cups of pecans, really fine! I use this old fashioned nut grinder I picked up at an estate sale. It seriously does the job better than anything I’ve tried.
How do you chop up nuts? I’ve found my food processor grinds them into powder if you’re not careful. Smashing them in a bag, is just…well, my one experience with that is that the bag busted and it was just a mess!
Dump in your nuts and mix on low again until they are mixed in real good.
Take your dough and take a pinch of it. Roll it into a ball and put it on a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment). I liked these to be small, like the ones I crave from my local bakery, so I made them about as big in diameter as a nickel. Maybe even a little smaller.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375º. When they’re done, pull them out and make your “thumbprints”.
Now I don’t know about you, but sticking my thumb into hot cookies over and over didn’t really appeal to me. I used the bottom of my ice cream scooper.
And it’s a lot more sanitary than my thumb I bet.
Press each cookie to create an indention.
Like cherry frosting yummy.
In your mixing bowl, toss in 3/4 cup of room temperature butter. Dump in five and one-half cups of powdered sugar. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons of maraschino cherry syrup out of a jar. Save those cherries for in a few minutes.
Also add in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix it all up. If it’s too thick, add in a little more cherry syrup. You want thick frosting but not really thick.
Now, you can skip this step if you want to. But this was really fun and a suggestion of Nancy. She was sitting watching me make these and after tasting them with just the frosting, she suggested we do this.
Chop up your cherries as finely as you can.
Spoon a little into the thumb ice cream scoop print indentions we made.
And cover them with the frosting. You can use a spoon to do this, or a spreader, but I had to experiment with these cute little things I got for a hostess gift from my Pampered Chef party last week.
Look a two handed picture! I had Nancy taking shots while I frosted. Usually, I’m balancing things in one hand and the camera in the other.
The frosting will go right over the cherries and they will be a nice little hidden surprise in your cookies!
Keep filling all your cookies. Then let them firm up a bit before you put them away.
You can flash freeze these by putting them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freezing for about an hour. Then you can store them in a container without the frosting smashing up. They freeze beautifully for later.
And pulling one or two out the freezer anytime you want, is pretty beautiful too…and dangerous.
I truly love these cookies. They are a keeper in my Christmas cookie collection. Try them this year!
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Pecan Sandie Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Frosting