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These Walnut Thumbprint Cookies are made with walnuts, filled with buttercream icing and are the perfect addition to your holiday cookie round up!
I feel like thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday cookie, don’t you? These walnut thumbprint cookies are a fun spin on the traditional recipe and they’re filled with ICING instead of jelly or jam.
…I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the latter, but in most cases, I think people prefer icing over jam. Plus, the red and green make these walnut thumbprints look even more festive.
What kind of cookies does your family enjoy over the holidays? My mom used to make ten (10!!!) different kinds of cookies, including buckeyes, cut out sugar cookies and these walnut thumbprint cookies. I don’t think this is her exact recipe—I mean it might be, I didn’t ask—but it’s the same concept: thumbprint cookies rolled in crushed walnuts and filled with colorful buttercream icing.
For the walnuts, I opted to use Diamond Nuts In-Shell Walnuts. They’re surprisingly easy to roast and make the house smell amazing!
Let’s walk through how to make these cookies. First, you’ll start by roasting the walnuts. Once they’re roasted and cracked open, you’ll place 1 cup of walnuts into your food processor and pulse until they’re in small crumb-like pieces. Meanwhile, you can begin making the dough by combining the wet ingredients together, then the dry ingredients together then whisking everything together. I opted to use HALF of the crushed walnuts in the actual cookie dough and the other half was used for topping.
So, once your dough is prepared, you’ll use your hands to form the dough into golf-size balls, and then roll them in the crushed walnuts, place them on a baking sheet. After that, you’ll bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them from the oven and use your thumb to press a thumbprint into the middle of each cookie, then bake the cookies for 2-4 minutes longer.
Lastly, you’ll fill the cookies with icing once they have cooled.
Note: I used a spoon and scooped icing into the center, but you can pipe the icing if you prefer—whatever you’re more comfortable with!
Note: I used in-shell walnuts, however, you can use regular walnuts if you prefer. Likewise, you may skip roasting the walnuts if you want these cookies to be done a little bit faster. If you don’t mind waiting, I think roasting them really brings out their flavor.
I love these walnut thumbprint cookies so so much and in short, I think you will too. They’re a fun take on a classic filled with BUTTERCREAM, and after all, who doesn’t love buttercream? And, if you’re really in the holiday spirit, you might want to give these chai thumbprints a try as well!
Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!
Buttercream Walnut Thumbprint Cookies
for the cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Diamond Nuts In-Shell Walnuts roasted then divided
for the buttercream:
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2 tbsp milk of choice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- A few drops red and/or green food coloring
- Start by roasting the walnuts if you haven't already*; then, put them in your food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Next, combine wet and dry ingredients.
- Stir HALF of the walnuts (approx. 1/2 cup) into the dough. Roll dough into balls then roll the balls into the remaining crushed walnuts and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes; then, remove them from the oven and carefully use your thumb to press a thumbprint into the center of each cookie. Place cookies back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-4 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and onto a cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling, make the buttercream. Whisk butter and milk together, then add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth. If you choose to add food coloring, do so as this time. Wait until the cookies have cooled before adding the buttercream.
- You may pipe the icing or simply use a spoon to scoop it into the center of each cookie.