Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Festive Thumbprint Cookies as the Twelve Days of Christmas Treats Continues with More Giveaways!

Holiday greetings from chilly Texas!

Yes, with Christmas only five days away, Texas has been plunged into the deep freeze. Okay, for all of you who live north of the Red River, stop laughing. I know the Texas meaning of cold can differ greatly from yours, however our temperatures tumbled into the teens over the weekend. And I don't care where you live, sixteen degrees is cold!

Of course, Christmas wouldn't be the same without all those twinkling lights. So we decided to take a drive last night to see the Red Tree. The homeowner lights one tree every year but, boy, does he do it in a big way.
Is that not a beautiful site?

However, a couple of houses down, we saw another tree dripping in lights.

The only way to top that is with some yummy holiday treats and the cookie I'm going to share with you today is one of my faves.

There are several reasons I love these cookies. First, the dough is buttery, so it has a nice texture. Second, they're coated in pecans and I LOVE pecans. Lastly, the little dollop of jelly is such a festive and delicious addition.

Here's what you'll need for these yummy treats:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Red currant jelly (if you can't find red currant jelly, seedless raspberry is a good substitute)

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
Add egg yolks.
And almond extract, 
beating until blended.

Next, combine your flour, salt and cinnamon.
And gradually add to the butter mixture, 
Blending on low speed until fully incorporated.
Cover and chill dough for one hour.
After you've wrapped a few presents or danced to some Christmas tunes,
preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Shape chilled dough into 1 inch balls.
Lightly beat your egg whites, then dip each ball into the egg white
And roll in pecans.
Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Now, press your thumb into each cookie to make an indentation.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool 1 minute on baking sheets. Press centers again while cookies are still warm.

Fill center of each cookie with jelly.
The red currant jelly really is a nice touch. A little more tart, but still plenty sweet.
Yes, this is the week when holiday baking kicks into high gear. The week that you go through more butter and sugar than the entire rest of the year. But hey, it's Christmas, so why not splurge.

Now it's time for a giveaway.
This week, I'm giving away a copy of 'Tis the Season, a kid-friendly cookbook
a copy of my latest release, Falling for the Hometown Hero.
Because let's face it, heroes are fun no matter what the season.
Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered. Let's talk about Christmas lights. Do you enjoy going out to look at them? What's your preference, colored or clear?

In closing, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a blessed and Christ-filled Christmas.
It's easy to get caught up in all the hoopla of the season, but lest we forget THE REASON for the season.


Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.


  1. You have inspired me to make this my baking project today! I love thumbprints and haven't made any since spring... it is clearly overdue!

    Thanks for this reminder, Mindy! And I made sour cherry jam this summer and I think that would be great in these... it's bright red and delicious.... and not a bit sour. :)

    But I've also got homemade Very Berry jam and I might try a few with that. It's chunkier jam but it might be a fun difference!

    And I love that your heroine is sportin' the total let's go hiking boots!!!! YES!

    1. Ruthy, either of those jams sound absolutely wonderful for these cookies. The sour cherry jam really got me, though.

      Yeah, Grace is that kind of girl. Of course, they are in Ouray with all those mountains.

  2. A beautiful red tree lit up. Thanks for sharing the picture. Yes, 16 in Texas is cold. How about -25 wind chill temp?

    I had a thumbprint cookie for while. My mouth is watery for one. Maybe I'll find time this week to make them before family Christmas.

    Christmas blessings.

    1. Isn't that red tree just stunning, Marilyn? Though I would not want to be the one stringing the lights on all of those branches.

      And I'm shivering over that wind chill temp. I've experienced those before. Makes you want to stay under the covers.

  3. One thing I remember about Christmas when we lived in Texas was how people go ALL OUT with the decorating! We always enjoyed our neighbor's decorations when we lived in Abilene, and one year we toured neighborhoods in San Antonio. What a treat!

    And these cookies look marvelous. I've never tried them before, so it's about time, right?

    Thanks for the recipe, Mindy, and Merry Tuesday Before Christmas!

    1. Jan, I wonder if part of the reason they go all out is because there's usually no snow to contend with and the temperatures are such that you don't mind being outside. Folks up north just don't want to spend time in the cold doing that sort of stuff.

      And yes, it is about time you tried these. I have no doubt that you and your crew will love them.

  4. I have so many new recipes I am wanting to make this year. One of which I am getting ready to pop in the oven this morning. I prepared the dough last night. Spumoni cookies. This year my cookie press is not working. At first I thought it was just the recipe but then when the second batch had the press acting the same way, I knew there must be something wrong with the press so no Spritz cookies this year. I decided I was not wasting the dough so I ended up inventing two new cookies this year.

    To some the baking may be a stressor but I am enjoying every minute.

    1. Way to go, Wilani! Necessity is definitely the mother of invention and when you're a waste-not, want-not kind of person, that's usually when you come up with some of the best new ideas.

      Boy, do I hear you on the new recipes. We have to pass out our goodies to others just to save us from eating all of them by ourselves, right? And I agree with you, I love the baking. It's a part of all the festivities.

  5. Hi Mindy,

    These look delicious. I've made thumbprint cookies before but never coated in pecans. I LOVE pecans as you'll see tomorrow. 😍

    I was thinking of you and Ouray as I wrote my installment of the Craftie Ladies Christmas serial for today. There's a certain mountain road that inspired me. :)

    1. I know just what road you're talking about, Mary Cate. I can only imagine what the suspense writer in you did with that.

      Now I can't wait until tomorrow because I love pecans, too. We have a friend down at the ranch who also has a pecan crop, so I love getting those fresh pecans. Yummy!

  6. We do like to drive around and look at all the decorated lights on the houses. I love the colorful ones :-) The houses up the hill from us are so pretty every year, they decorated them up differently. Our city also holds a contest for the prettiest house & they get a special certificate. It's fun to see how creative people can be!

    Thank you for the giveaway Mindy and the delicious cookie recipe!

    1. Trixi, I think every town has that one place where someone takes their lights over the top. That one house everyone wants to see. When our kids were little we used to pile them in the minivan with hot cocoa and make an event out of driving through certain neighborhoods to see the decorations. I still love the lights. Only a part of what makes this the most wonderful time of the year. ;)

  7. We thought we weren't going to do any baking until after Christmas this year but my daughter and I decided we had to at least do sugar cookies and shortbread so we're baking them on Friday.

    One of her favourite recipes was a thumbprint jam filled cookie a friend's mom used to make. We never got the recipe but I'm wondering if this might be a close match. I'd have to leave off the pecans though -- and that means the egg wash, right? I might just make these and surprise her on Christmas. Woot! Thanks Mindy.

    1. Kav, I've sen thumbprint cookies done all sorts of ways, so go ahead and surprise your daughter. I can think of a better gift.

  8. I'm sorry I'm late today! These look so good, Mindy!

    I enjoyed the light show! I want to drive around one night this week. We've already toured our neighborhood.

    1. Missy, you can take some cookies with you to eat while you're looking. :D

  9. I am making these right now! Cookie trays for our daycare moms and dads will include these thumbprints!

    1. Yay! Are you going to use the sour cherry jam, Ruthy?

  10. I used to make thumbprint cookies but haven't in a few years. I love pecans and your cookies look wonderful!

    1. I forgot to comment on the lights. That red tree is beautiful! I've never seen a tree with that many lights on it. I can't imagine how long that took to get all of the lights on it.

    2. Donna, until I saw that tree, I'd never seen that many lights either. Talk about impact.

      Thanks for stopping by. :D