Sitting Pretty Cookies

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A popular filled thumbprint cookie rolled in nuts and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream. Sitting Pretty Cookies can be customized for holidays and celebrations.

Cookies are my favorite thing to bake. As much as I like cinnamon rolls, pies and cakes, there’s just nothing like baking a batch of cookies. It’s comforting to me.

Today I’m sharing a new “old fashioned” cookie recipe. This was given to us by one of our readers who remembered “Sitting Pretty Cookies” from when she was young. And they are indeed pretty!

cookies on a wire rack

What you’ll love about these cookies:

  • simple shortbread style ingredients
  • not overly sweet. In fact, most of the sweetness comes from the frosting.
  • super soft
  • versatile for any occasion (Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day or July 4!)
  • freezer friendly

Thumbprint Cookies

This cookie style is called a thumbprint cookie. Why? Because during baking you press your thumb into the dough to make a well. Then you fill the well with a deliciously sweet filling. We’ve made thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam, nutella, caramel, chocolate and even guava.

How to Make Sitting Pretty Cookies

*Notice that the dough needs refrigerated for an hour before baking.*

Mix the cookies.

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Mix in the egg yolks (save the whites) and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. As you can see in the picture below the dough will be really dry and crumbly. It will pack together into balls though so don’t worry.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Roll the cookies.

  • Place the egg whites in a small bowl and use the fork to whisk lightly.
  • Place the chopped walnuts in another bowl.
  • Roll out the dough into 1″ balls. Dip the balls into the egg whites, then roll in the chopped nuts.

Bake the cookies.

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and press your thumb into the top of each cookie to make a well.
unfilled thumbprint cookies on baking mat
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake another 5 minutes.
  • Move the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Fill the cookies.

Once the cookies are cool, fill the centers of the cookies with your favorite vanilla buttercream. Do this by snipping of the corner of a zippered bag and filling the bag with buttercream. Squeeze the frosting through the tip to fill the cookie. You can also use a cake decorating bag. Or, if you don’t have any other options, just spoon it in.

piping frosting into thumbprint cookies

How to Store Cookies

The cookies are safe to store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you are going to have them longer than that, we recommend freezing them so that they stay as fresh as possible.

Recipe Variations:

  • roll in chopped pecans
  • roll in coconut or crushed pretzels or cornflakes if you are allergic to nuts
  • fill with chocolate frosting or caramel frosting
  • place any mini candy on the top: peanut m&ms, mini reese’s, caramel bits, holiday candy or even more nuts
Sitting Pretty Cookies on a wire rack
Sitting Pretty Cookies on a wire rack

Sitting Pretty Cookies {Thumbprint Cookies}

5 from 2 votes
A popular filled thumbprint cookie rolled in nuts and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream. Sitting Pretty Cookies can be customized for holidays and celebrations.
Servings 36
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (crushed finely)
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla buttercream frosting
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Mix in the egg yolks (save the whites) and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats.
  • Place the egg whites in a small bowl and use the fork to whisk lightly.
  • Place the chopped walnuts in another bowl.
  • Roll out the dough into 1" balls. Dip the balls into the egg whites, then roll in the chopped nuts.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and press your thumb into the top of each cookie to make a well.
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake another 5 minutes.
  • Move the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Once the cookies are cool, fill the centers of the cookies with vanilla buttercream. Do this by snipping of the corner of a zippered bag and filling with buttercream. Squeeze the frosting through the tip to fill the cookie. You can also use a cake decorating bag.
  • Then press a chocolate chunk or chocolate candy into the center of the frosting.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 36 cookies, with 1 serving being 1 cookie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 196
Keyword christmas, holiday

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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