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A spiced butter cookie filled with creamy eggnog-flavored cheesecake, these vegan Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies are the ultimate holiday cookie. Sure to impress!
My-oh-my, am I excited about this recipe.
I’ve been sitting on it for several weeks now and today I finally get to share it with you. What is making me so excited? Why it’s vegan Eggnog Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies! And just in time for holiday baking season. These thumbprint cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookie – a spicy and buttery shortbread cookie filled with vegan eggnog cheesecake and topped with cinnamon and nutmeg. Starting to see why I’m so excited?
Yes, it’s starting to feel a whole lot like Christmas.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Vegan Butter – Look for a high-quality non-hydrogenated vegan butter. I recommend either Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.
- Granulated & Powdered Sugar – Check out my guide to vegan sugars and healthy sugar alternatives.
- Applesauce – The applesauce acts as the binder for these cookies. You can’t taste the applesauce but if you would prefer a different kind of egg replacer, check out my complete guide on replacing eggsto get a few more ideas.
- All-Purpose Flour – I have also made these cookies with a 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour Baking Blend with great success. (<<affiliate link)
- Baking Powder
- Spices – You will need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
- Vegan Cream Cheese – When it comes to vegan cream cheese, I recommend Go Veggie. Go Veggie’s cream cheese is made from coconut for a non-GMO, no cholesterol, vegan alternative. Their cheese alternatives have more calcium, equal protein, less fat, and fewer calories compared to dairy cheese. Their mission – to help cheese lovers enjoy all their favorite cheesy foods and feel great about it.
- Holiday Nog – This is vegan “eggnog” You can use either homemade holiday nog or buy it at the store.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies
Step One: Make the Eggnog Cheesecake
Because we are using a small amount of cheesecake in each cookie, it doesn’t need to set like a traditional cheesecake. That makes our job even easier! All we need for the cheesecake filling is some vegan eggnog, sugar, spices, and cream cheese.
To make the filling, blend together the cream cheese in a food processor until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in holiday nog. Blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Step Two- Make the Spiced Butter Cookies
Cream the butter and sugar together. Once it’s light and fluffy, add the applesauce (this acts as our binder – aka, egg replacer). Once the applesauce is added, the dough will start to look curdled. Don’t worry about this. When the dry ingredients are added, the dough will sort itself out. Add the flour and spices and mix until it just comes together.
I have found that a good small cookie scoop is very useful for thumbprint cookies. We want a small round cookie and a cookie scoop makes this much easier. The round cookies get placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the dough is shaped, it’s time to turn them into thumbprint cookies. This simply means making a small indentation in the center of the cookie with your thumb.
Step Three – Bake the Cookies
Before we fill the cookies with the eggnog cheesecake, we are going to par-bake them. The filling naturally gets baked quicker than the cookies, so we want to give the cookies about 10 minutes in the oven to get golden brown before filling them. Once they come out of the oven, gently re-indent the centers (as they will puff up a bit as they bake), let them cool for 5 minutes, and then pipe in your filling, creating a nice rounded top on each cookie.
With the cookies filled, they can go back in the oven. Eight minutes later and you’ve got yourself some incredibly delicious and perfectly festive Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies.
Serving and Storing
Serving – Serve these cookies along with some vegan eggnog or hot cocoa at your next holiday gathering for sweet festive treats that are certain to impress.
Storing – Once cookies are completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Raw dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Make in Advance – If you only want to make only a few at a time, you can store the remaining dough in the freezer. To do this, roll all the dough into balls. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer to freeze all the way through. Once frozen, transfer your cookie dough into a large ziplock bag and return to the freezer. You can store the cookies this way for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove from freezer and bake!
Tips and Tricks
- The most accurate way to measure flour is to spoon it into your measuring cup, leveling it off with the back of a knife.
- Do not over-mix the cookies. Mix until the ingredients are just combined so that we have a flaky shortbread-like cookie.
- Let the cookies cool about 5 minutes before filling them up with cheesecake filling for the second bake. This allows the cookies to get crispy before adding moisture.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
- Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Hazelnut Sandies
- Chocolate-Dipped Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- Classic Gingerbread People Cookies
Eggnog Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies
- Start by making the eggnog cheesecake filling. To make the filling, blend together the cream cheese in a food processor until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in holiday nog. Blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Using your stand up mixer, cream together vegan butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add applesauce and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in three batches, scraping down the sides in between. Mix until all flour is hydrated and the dough is uniform.
- Using a small cookies scoop, scoop cookies and roll them into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Make a teaspoon-sized indentation in the center with your thumb.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and make indentations again. Fill the center of each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling so that it's slightly mounded. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until cheesecake filling has firmed up. Remove from oven, transfer cookies back to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.