Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans

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If you’re a fan of cheese straws you’ll love these cheese wafers which have a great flavor from the salted butter and extra sharp cheddar cheese. Serve plain or with hot pepper jelly / jam or choice for a little cocktail or shower nibble.  I like that it’s a one bowl recipe, using your food processor to shred the cheese then mixing all the ingredients together. Make sure your cheese is very cold before using  the shredding disc on food processor.

Recipe adapted from The Southern Living Party Cookbook

Makes about 36


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 8-oz block extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Hot pepper jelly or jam/ jelly of choice


Pulse flour, cheese and butter in a food processor at 5-second intervals until dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Shape tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls and roll each in chopped pecans. Place the balls 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use thumb or wooden spoon handle to make indention in center of each ball. Chill for at least 3o minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake in preheated oven in batches until light golden brown, 15 – 18 minutes. Remove from oven, press indentation again slightly. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jelly into each indentation right before serving.


Original recipe called for 1 ½ cups chopped pecans.  I found 1 cup was more than enough. After rolling ball of dough into pecans, make indentation into ball while still in bowl of pecans, so excess fall back into bowl rather than on baking sheet. Also the bottoms of wafers get some extra pecans pressed into the surface which gives them a great texture and more pecan flavor.

I rarely use salted butter in recipes, but it makes all the difference here.

Shred your cheese off the block for this recipe. Bagged pre-shredded cheese has added ingredients with anti-clumping properties that help keep cheese shreds separate, so it doesn’t always melt completely nor is it as moist as cheese you shred yourself off the block.

If you’re a fan of the sweet heat of hot pepper jelly you’ll love these, but strawberry, fig or apricot jam would be good here too. My husband prefers these as plain cheese wafers.

May be baked ahead and frozen for up to 3 months.  Flash freeze wafers then wrap well in plastic. Let thaw then fill with pepper jelly or jam of choice right before serving.