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Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

The ultimate holiday cookies; these Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies are coated in chopped pecans.  Each center is filled with caramel cream cheese.  These make the perfect dessert for any holiday spread or winter gift.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 45

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 3/4 cup ( 1.5 sticks ) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered confectioners' icing sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 6-8 drop blue food coloring

For the Pecans

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 2 large egg whites

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons powdered confectioners' icing sugar
  • 6 tablespoons caramel sauce such as ice cream topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. 
    In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar; about 3 minutes.
    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
    Beat egg in butter mixture.  Add in vanilla extract. 
    Beat in 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring until incorporated.  To darken the red, beat in 6-8 drops of blue food coloring.  Beat until color is incorporated and no streaks remain. 
    Working in batches, carefully beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients until ingredients are incorporated. 
    To coat with pecans, whisk two eggs whites together.
    Place finely chopped pecans in a dish.  
    Scoop a little more than 1/2 tablespoon dough and roll into a ball then roll into egg whites.  Drop each ball into the pecans and roll to coat.  Place on cookie sheet.
    Using the underside of a teaspoon, carefully indent each round ball, pressing down until circle is formed. 
    Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Cookies will harden when cooled.  Allow to cool then remove from baking sheet.
    To make the filling, beat softened cream cheese with 6 tablespoons with powdered confectioners' icing sugar until fully incorporated.  Slowly beat in 6 tablespoons caramel sauce.  
    Fill a piping or zip lock bag with cream cheese filling then cut off tip.  Fill each cookie with filling.  To set filling, bake in 300 degree F. oven for 3 minutes (this is optional).