Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

These tasty Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies include a rich pie filling and fresh nutmeg.

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies
 
Makes about 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg, divided
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pecan Pie Filling (recipe follows), slightly warmed 
Instructions
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place pecans, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg; pulse until nuts are finely ground. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, ½ cup chopped nut mixture, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat just until mixture comes together, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. With floured hands, roll dough into 60 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls in remaining nut mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, gently make an indentation in center of each ball.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven, and press down centers again. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 4 minutes more. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spoon 1 teaspoon Pecan Pie Filling in center of each cookie. Let stand until filling cools.

Pecan Pie Filling
 
Makes about 1¼ cups
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark corn syrup
  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together pecans, sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, egg, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before using.

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