Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies | Life, Love, and Good Food
5 from 2 votes

Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies—buttery shortbread with a creamy caramel center topped with toasted pecans
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel, cookies, pecan, thumbprint cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 dozen
Calories 170kcal



  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (16 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Caramel Filling

  • 22 individually wrapped Kraft caramels (6 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted



  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered’ sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bowl and beaters and add flour. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute.
  • Form the cookies by using your palms to roll our 24 smooth balls approximately 1 to 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Place about 1-1/2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. 
  • Dip the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measure into flour, then press down into the middle of each cookie almost as deep as the dough ball. Reform any cookies that crack or break. 
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops look dry and the edges are lightly browned. Bake one sheet of cookies at a time if both sheets will not fit on the same middle rack. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Filling

  • Unwrap the caramels and place in a small saucepan with the heavy cream. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 4 to 6 minutes. 
  • While the caramel is still warm, use a small spoon to fill each cookie indentation, filling to the rim but not overflowing. Sprinkle pecans on top of each cookie and press lightly into the caramel. Cool completely before storing.


Original recipe found in the Fine Cooking 2017 Christmas Guide.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 70mg