1-1/2 cups pancake and waffle mix
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream cheese filling
Finely chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Cream cheese filling:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In small bowl, stir together pancake mix and cocoa powder.
In large bowl, beat sugar and butter on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add red food coloring and egg. Beat just until well combined. Add combined pancake mix and cocoa powder. Beat on low speed until combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
Refrigerate dough 15 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Make indentation in center of each ball, pressing with thumb or end of wooden spoon.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. If cookies have puffed up during baking, use thumb or end of wooden spoon to restore indentation. Transfer cookies to wire rack. Cool completely.
Cream cheese filling: In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract on medium speed of mixer until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until smooth.
Spoon or pipe cream cheese filling into thumbprints (about 1 teaspoon per cookie). Top with chopped pecans, if desired.
Makes 36 cookies.