Toasted Pecan Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies With A Strawberry Buttercream Center
Try saying the name of these cookies 5 x's fast...
Before I get into the ingredients I want to mention a few things. Of course I used pecans and strawberries (hence the giant title lol) but you can substitute both of those ingredients for whichever nut or fruit you prefer :) This recipe came from one of my Bake From Scratch magazines and I added my own twists. Their recipe originally used cherries! So go ahead and get creative with what you use - have fun with it!
1 cup unsalted softened butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cups toasted pecans
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup strawberries (chopped & heated)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats (whichever you prefer). Set aside.
In a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment combine the butter and sugar together on low speed until light and creamy. About two minutes. You can also make this dough by hand using a whisk and silicone spatula :)
Add both egg yolks to the butter mixture mixing one at a time and beating in between each addition. Add in the vanilla.
Chop up your pecans into small pieces and place onto a pan. Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes until they are slightly browned and have a nuttier smell. Let the pecans cool for a few minutes in a separate bowl before using them.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Once the pecans have cooled, add them to the bowl of dry ingredients and combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and combine on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is getting combined evenly.
Scoop the dough into 2 Tbsp. sized balls and roll them in your hands to smooth them out. Place them about 2" apart.
Take a 1/2 tsp. and gently make an indentation on top of each ball of dough to create the "thumbprint". If the dough is sticking to the back of the measuring spoon, dip it in flour to help make this process easier. Repeat for each cookie!
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom and edges. As soon as the cookies are finished baking, check to see how the indentation help up during baking. If you need to make the indent a bit more apparent, simply repeat the indenting process using the same size measuring spoon you used before.
Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the buttercream whisk together the butter and sugar while slowly adding the milk until creamy.
Add in the vanilla and salt.
Chop up the strawberries and place them in a microwave safe bowl. This will soften the strawberries.
Take the warmed strawberries and use a fork to press all the juice through a sieve over your bowl of buttercream. This will add a light pink hue and give our buttercream a delicious natural strawberry flavor :)
The warmed strawberries will thin out the buttercream to once it is nicely mixed together, pop the buttercream in the fridge for about 30 minutes to help firm it up.
Once the cookies have cooled and the buttercream has firmed up, transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fit with a star tip. (You don't have to pipe or use a tip, you can easily place a dollop of icing onto the cookies using a spoon).
Pipe a small swirl in the center of each cookie. VOILA!
Enjoy the HECKKKK out of these :)