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Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

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!


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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!

Love holiday cookies? Try these next:

Cinnamon Roll Cookies with Glaze

Candy Cane Cookies

M&M Holiday Pudding Cookies

Butter Pecan Meletaways

Baked cherry thumbprint cookies on pink plate.

Ingredients

Ingredients for recipe on marble counter with text overlay.
  • 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.
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • 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
  • Milk
  • White chocolate or milk chocolate for drizzling – I used Lindt chocolate or you can use your favorite brand.

Step by Step Instructions

Butter, shortening and brown sugar in mixing bowl from stand mixer.

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.

Egg yolk is added  to cookie dough mixture.

Next, beat in egg yolk (save the egg white) and vanilla extract just until it is well-combined.

Dry ingredients added to cookie dough in bowl from stand mixer.

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.

Unbaked thumbprint cookies on parchment lined baking sheet.

In a shallow bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Place chopped pecans in a separate shallow bowl.

Shape dough into 1 and 1/4-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.

Completed cookies sitting on pink plate.

For the filling: In a small bowl, beat powdered sugar, cherry juice, butter and milk until smooth. Fill each cookie (indentation) with 1/4 to 1/2 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)

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Maraschino cherry thumbprint cookies on white plate.

Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Cookie Dough:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, separated

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Filling:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon cherry juice (from jar of cherries)

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon milk

Drizzle:

4 to 6 unces white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate


Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, or bowl from tand 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. 
  3. Next, beat in the egg yolk (save the egg white for later) and vanilla extract just until well-combined.
  4. Gradually add the flour to the creamed mixture.  
  5. Refrigerate cookie dough for 30 minutes. It shuld be easy to handle.  
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F just before the 30 minute chill time is over. 
  7. In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy.  Place chopped pecans in a separate small shallow bowl.
  8. Shape the cookie dough into 1 and 1/4-inch balls.  Dip the cookie dough balls into the egg white, then immediately roll in pecans.  Place cookie dough balls 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. 
  9. Make a deep indentation in the centre of each cookie with your clean thumb or a small spoon.
  10. Bake in 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until undges are light golden brown.  Transfer cookies to wire cooling rack.
  11. For the filling: In a small bowl, beat powered sugar, cherry juice, butter and milk until smooth.  Fill each cookie indentation with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspon of the the cherry filling. Top with a maraschino cherry.  (Note: you may need a little more cherry juice to reach the right consistency).
  12. Melt chocolate in microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring periodically.  Drizzle melted chocolate on top of the cookies. 
  13. Allow to stand a few hours until the chocolate has set.

Notes

Storage – Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Freeze cookies in an airtight freezer-safe container in single layers for up to two months. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: maraschino cherry thumbprint cookies

3 Comments

    1. It’s 1/4 cup of butter. Thanks for pointing that out to me. Corrected on the recipe card 🙂 Sandra

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