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Maraschino cherry thumbprint cookies on white plate.

Maraschino Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

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


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


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon cherry juice (from jar of cherries)

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon milk


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


  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.


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