Browned Butter Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with Rum Frosting Recipe

Browned Butter Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with Rum Frosting

Makes 4 dozen

2021 Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest Winner

Submitted by Bette S.

These cookies offer a trifecta of fabulous flavors: browned butter, toasted pecans, and sweet rum. Browning the butter takes a bit of time, but it's totally worth it! See all five 2021 Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest Winners.


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 48 pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract


  1. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to melt, stirring occasionally, until it bubbles, the foam disappears, and the milk solids begin to turn amber and the butter turns gold. The butter should be very fragrant. Remove pan from heat and let butter cool at room temperature until it becomes semi-solid.
  2. Position oven racks in the upper and middle third positions. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Place pecan halves on one of the lined baking sheets and toast in preheated oven 5 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.
  4. Place 1/4 cup browned butter in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Scrape remaining butter, including bits of milk solids, into a large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, rum extract, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in flour and chopped pecans, mixing until a stiff but malleable dough forms.
  5. Remove toasted pecans to a plate and set aside. Roll portions of dough into 1-inch balls and place them 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Use your knuckle or the end of a wooden spoon to tamp an indentation in the center of each ball of dough.
  6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies have golden-brown edges, rotating pans halfway through baking time if they are browning unevenly. Allow cookies to cool on pans.
  7. While cookies are baking, make icing. Add powdered sugar to reserved browned butter. Add a tablespoon of milk and rum extract. Stir until smooth, adding additional milk, as needed, to make a soft icing that isn't runny.
  8. When cookies have cooled, fill each indentation with a half teaspoon of icing and then top with a toasted pecan half.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 dozen servings)
Calories: 120
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 20 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 7 g
Protein: 1 g
We provide nutritional information for our delicious recipes to help you select foods that meet your health and lifestyle goals. Care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of recipes and information. Nutritional data is intended for educational purposes, and not for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical condition. Please consult your healthcare provider for specific advice on diet and health. Click here to learn how we analyze the nutritional value of our recipes.

Ratings and Reviews

Printing Options

Rate and Review

We invite you to pull up a seat at our table and share your thoughts on this dish. The comments section is here to help you and the food-passionate community have a great cooking experience. It's all about the delicious food, so let's get cooking!

My Met Market