Caramel Pecan Gingersnap Thumbprints
Every year it never seems like there is enough time to bake all of the Christmas cookies that I want to try. We have our old favorites but there is always something new that I have on the list to try.
Gingersnaps are one favorite Christmas cookie recipe that has been a tradition in my family since childhood. I love the rich molasses and ginger spiced dough and the soft cookies.
These Caramel Pecan Gingersnap Thumbprints are a twist on the old classic Gingersnap recipe. They’re still rolled in sugar, making the outsides sparkling, but in the center is pressed a pecan half and a pool of caramel. You can use any store-bought dessert caramel sauce, or you can try this Homemade Caramel Sauce. Then, melted chocolate is drizzled on top.
To get a neat looking drizzle, I like to use a white plastic squeeze bottle. You can easily find this at a specialty cake shop or in many craft stores near the baking aisle. Melt the chocolate and pour it into the container. Then you tip it upside down and drizzle. It makes a cleaner line of chocolate and, I think, an easier clean up.
This recipe makes about 5 dozen Caramel Pecan Gingersnap Thumbprints, but they are small cookies. Because they’re small and they’re zoo good it is pretty difficult to stop and just one or two.
The dough freezes very well, just thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, if you like to prepare batches of dough ahead of time. You can also follow the instructions in this Kitchen Tip: How to Freeze Cookie Dough. You will need to allow the balls of frozen dough to thaw before baking, otherwise the cookies will not spread enough.
What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Please share it in the comments below.
More Christmas Cookies to try:
- Chocolate Cherry Cordial Thumbprint Cookies
- Orange Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
- Pistachio Orange Crescent Cookies
- Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
Alex Guarnaschelli, judge on the primetime shows Chopped and The Next Iron Chef, has partnered with Fisher Nuts to transform everyday foods into simple dishes and create fresh twists on favorite recipes. Check out some of her tasty Holiday Recipes.
I think the Almond Heart cookies look delicious. Imagine how cute they would be cut out in Christmas Bells or Stars for the holidays. Fisher would like to offer you a Holiday Gift Giveaway so you can enjoy some of Chef Alex’s recipes or create your own deliciously simple holiday recipes.
Caramel Pecan Gingerbread Thumbprints
Yield: approx 5 dozen
Prep Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses, not blackstrap
1/4 cup granulated sugar
60 pecan halves
5 tablespoons caramel topping
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Alternatively, you may use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer. Next, add the molasses and the egg. Continue to beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape the sides as necessary.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, while beating on low speed. Scrap the sides in between cups of flour.
After the dough has come together, place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap and press the dough into a flat disc. Wrap completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Then, roll all sides of each ball in granulated sugar. Place the prepared balls 2 inches apart on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and immediately press a pecan half into center of each cookie. Then, top each pecan with 1/4 teaspoon of the caramel.
Remove the cookies from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Place the leftover parchment paper underneath the wire rack. This will catch any spills when you drizzle the chocolate. Drizzle the cooled cookies with the melted chocolate. Let stand until the chocolate has set.