[RECIPE] Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies

On the menu for this weekend’s sweet surprise: pumpkin butter.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had apple butter before and though it wasn’t bad, I didn’t love it. It was sort of like apple sauce. Would that make this like pumpkin sauce? I didn’t know, but I must find out. So, when I came across a simple recipe for thumbprint cookies that featured this ingredient, I immediately bookmarked it.

A month later….

Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies
[based on this recipe; makes roughly 40 cookies]

1 cup and 2 tbsp of Pecan Meal
1 cup of White Wheat Flour
1 stick of Unsalted Butter
2 1/2 tbsp of Sugar
1/4 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Vanilla Powder/Extract
Pumpkin Butter (or your favorite jam)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cream the butter with a mixer or by hand and combine with the dry ingredients until the dough forms and comes together when pressed.

Use a tablespoon measure to ration out the dough by filling it up and roughly leveling it off. Squeeze and roll into a ball, pressing lightly until it’s a little oblong. Place on the cookie sheet and space roughly an inch apart. With a 1/4 teaspoon measure, gently press on top of each ball to made an indentation. Repeat until all cookies have been formed from the remaining dough.

Bake from 13 to 18 minutes, or until they have lightly browned. Cool completely before filling with butter or jam. If needed, briefly warm the filling before spooning it in.


  • I doubled the recipe to make twice the amount of cookies – so roughly 80. I also decreased the amount of sugar in the dough to perhaps 4 1/2 tablespoons as opposed to the original 6 tablespoons if I were to double it following the original recipe. I upped the vanilla by adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon to the first two. I used pecan meal and I didn’t run it through the processor which was awesome – could definitely taste the pecan nuts in it – but because of that, the dough crumbled easily when I tried to make the indentation. Even so, no big deal. It just meant we could “sample” a lot more cookies. šŸ™‚
  • The pumpkin butter itself tasted like a slightly healthier and lighter version of pumpkin pie filling but still had a good amount of sugar in it. Most everyone liked it, though my family did approve of my decision to lessen the sugar. As for the two guests that came over when they found out I had a baking day, they enjoyed it as well and requested to take home some, though one commented on how I put in too little sugar, haha.
  • I didn’t heat up the butter, which is why it looks like we literally spread it on top of each cookie (because we did). Perhaps it didn’t result in very photogenic cookies, but they still tasted great!
  • I baked them for around 13 to 15 minutes, with the first time being the latter. I had thought they were a little burnt as they looked more brown, but it could also be because of my choice in flour. For the remaining batches, I baked them for 13-14 minutes. Halfway through, they got really fragrant – nutty with notes of vanilla – and permeated throughout the house. As you bit into them, the cookie itself was subtly sweet and the added texture of the pecans along with the vanilla was great. It also crumbles in your mouth, courtesy of the butter, not unlike Mexican Wedding Cookies/Russian Teacakes. The pumpkin butter added a little more sweetness and spice to the whole as well as a surprise of — pumpkin pie. All in all, another winner of a cookie! However, perhaps next time, I might try using all purpose flour and/or grind up my nuts more finely to get a more solid cookie with a limited amount of cracks.


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