What makes up these Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies? A buttery cookie is rolled in pecans, then baked with an indent in the middle. The filling is icing made from the maraschino cherry juice, powdered sugar and milk. Next, a cherry on top followed by a drizzle of white or dark chocolate. These tasty Christmas cookies are sure to delight and look so pretty on a Christmas baking tray!
This is an old Taste of Home recipe that I've had around for years and I kind of forgot all about it. That is, until I had an extra jar of maraschino cherries in the pantry and my memory tweaked.
If you're like me, you usually have a list a mile long of all of the holiday treats and cookies that you want to make, but must narrow down the list to a more realistic number. This recipe is a keeper!
- All purpose flour
- Butter - bring butter to room temperature before baking. If you're kitchen is very warm, bring the butter to room temperature in a cooler place. A kitchen windowsill, for example, on a hot day would make the butter too soft and cookies will spread.
- Shortening - You can also omit the shortening and replace it with an equal amount of butter.
- Eggs - use large eggs at room temperature.
- Brown Sugar
- Pecans - the original recipe called for almond, which you could use. I preferred the softness and flavor of the pecans.
- Maraschino cherries (and the juice)
- Powdered sugar
- White chocolate or milk chocolate for drizzling - I used Lindt chocolate or you can use your favorite brand.
Step by Step Instructions
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, or bowl from stand mixer, cream butter, shortening, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy. This will take 5 to 7 full minutes and the mixture should be pale and creamy in color.
Next, beat in egg yolk (save the egg white) and vanilla extract just until it is well-combined.
Gradually add the flour to the creamed mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough for 30 minutes. It should be easy to handle. Chilling will ensure that the cookies do not spread during baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F before the cookie dough is done chilling.
In a shallow bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Place chopped pecans in a separate shallow bowl.
Shape dough into 1 and ¼-inch balls. Dip balls in egg white, then roll in pecans.
Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
Make a deep indentation in the centre of each cookie with your thumb or a small spoon.
Bake in 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes until edges are light brown.
Transfer to wire cooling racks.
For the filling: In a small bowl, beat powdered sugar, cherry juice, butter and milk until smooth. Fill each cookie (indentation) with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the cherry filling. You may need to add either a little more cherry juice or a little more powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency. Mixture should be smooth and not too runny.
Tip: When you're filling the indentation, keep in mind that the filling will ooze out once you press the cherry in the middle. Less is more.
Top with a maraschino cherry.
Melt chocolate in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring periodically. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cookies. Let stand until set. (a few hours)