Party Bite: Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans

If you’re a fan of cheese straws you’ll love these Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans! This savory little cocktail or shower nibble can be served plain or with hot pepper jelly or the jam or your choice. I like that your food processor does all the work, from shredding the cheese, then mixing all the ingredients together. 

Are you a fan of cheese straws? If so, you’ll love these pecan cheese wafers! This recipe is one of the many delicious recipes in The Southern Living Party Cookbook.


Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans are great with a glass of wine and would be good served at a bridal or baby shower too.

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 likes these jam-free, as plain cheese wafers, which reminded him of a recipe my mother-in-law used to make.


  • Your food processor makes quick work shredding cheese and the blending of the cheese, butter and flour for this recipe!

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

  •  Make sure your cheese is very cold before using the shredding disc on your food processor. You can place your block of cheese in the freezer for 20 minutes for easier shredding.

Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans

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 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 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.



  • The 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 the 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.

  • 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.


Printable Recipe

Recipe courtesy of The Southern Living Party Cookbook:

Elizabeth Heiskell, best-selling author and TODAY show food contributor, puts her one-of-a-kind touch on updating the top-selling Southern Living cookbook of all time, 1972’s Southern Living Party Cookbook.  Divided by occasion, this modern-day reinterpretation of the Southern Living classic offers a fresh lineup of party ideas, including a Bridal Tea, Garden Club Luncheon, Summer Nights, Cocktails and Canapés, Tailgate, Picnic on the Lawn, Fall Dinner, and 24 more gatherings you’ll want to host.

I have a second copy to give away courtesy of Meredith Special Interest Media/Books.

Visit HERE to enter and win a copy.

This giveaway is open through midnight January 25th to those living in the continental U.S.

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Between Naps on the Porch

  32 comments for “Party Bite: Thumbprint Cheese Wafers with Pecans

  1. Laura Thwaite
    January 24, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Yum! Tell the pups and my favorite brother-in-law Hello….Stay warm and dry!

    • January 24, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Will do❣️ Lola says please visit soon 🐾🐾❤️

  2. Gayle Dodson
    January 24, 2019 at 7:48 am

    OH my, these look delicious. Keeping my fingers crossed to win this fabulous cookbook.

  3. January 24, 2019 at 8:05 am

    WOW!! I will be making these for my annual May Crowning Luncheon..I like the idea of making them ahead and freezing…thank you..I think I’m already entered to win the Cookbook?? Thanks for sharing and good luck to all!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  4. Kathy Menold
    January 24, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Used to make these at Christmas using both red and green pepper jelly.So good and always a bit at parties. Think I will make some for Super Bowl with some hot pepper and cherry jam I have on hand. Thanks for reminding me of these easy and yummy snacks. Stay dry on another rainy day in N.C.

  5. January 24, 2019 at 8:13 am

    These look great! Would make a fun Valentine… especially with the red jelly.

  6. Theresa Keller
    January 24, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Yum, these remind me of ones that my Mother made with rice krispies in them. I love the idea of the hot pepper jelly too! Thank you for the inspiration :) I love menu based cookbooks…. they give you ideas to build on! have a great day Mary.

  7. Carole S.
    January 24, 2019 at 8:46 am

    These look too good! I can think of lots of ways to use them. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Kimberly
    January 24, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Looks like a fun cookbook! I’ll try this recipe for sure!

  9. Kate Bresnahan
    January 24, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Well aren’t you just the hostess with the mostest — can’t wait to try these — sounds devine!

  10. January 24, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Oh Mary, these look delicious, and perfect to keep on hand in the freezer when you have unexpected guests! This cookbook looks like one I really need to add to my collection!

  11. January 24, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I’m with your husband, I’ll skip the jam! This type of bite is my hands down favorite, I think there is a batch in the very near future! Interesting about the salted butter, do you think you could use unsalted butter and add a little salt to the dough?? Thanks Mary, a wonderful nibble!

  12. bamacarol
    January 24, 2019 at 10:37 am

    These look wonderful! I may make some ahead of time to take to my Spring retreat – we always have a table of good homemade foods to share.

  13. Terri
    January 24, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    These sound delicious, I have farmers market pepper jellies also.
    So I will be making these.

  14. Betsy
    January 24, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the tip on freshly shredded cheese v. bagged pre-shredded cheese. I had forgotten about the added ingredients that may alter the end product!

  15. Virginia
    January 24, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Mary this recipe is similar to one I have made for many years pressing a Pecan half on the top before baking. I add Tabasco sauce for a little zing but would like to give this recipe a try since I have a nice supply of pepper jelly in my cupboard thanks to a bumper crop of peppers this summer. Thank you.

  16. January 24, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    This recipe sounds tasty. Is the jelly mild or hot? I’ve never tasted it before.

    • January 24, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Whatever you prefer, we like the hot :)

  17. Marilyn Morphis
    January 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I had already noticed this book and bought and it has been a lot of fun going through it.

  18. January 24, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Those look scrumptious! Can’t wait to try them and I believe it’ll be soon! Thank you for the recipe.

  19. January 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    True confession time… This Yankee has never had a cheese straw! ~I heard that gasp:@) But they are on my list to try Mary!

    • January 25, 2019 at 6:34 am

      *Gasp* is right Lynn, you need to change that pronto! These are a great one to try :)

  20. January 24, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Mary, extra sharp cheddar and pepper jelly is a win for these thumbprint wafers. They look delish!

  21. Kathryn Larson
    January 24, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Sounds yummy….I’ll be making them tomorrow as I’m planning on having friends over for dinner.

  22. January 24, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Oh, I must make these! I have some green hot pepper jelly that I made this past summer!

  23. Cyndi Raines
    January 24, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Love cheese! These sound so good! Will pin for sure and have to make them soon!

  24. January 25, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Your little morsels look so sparkly and colorful, Mary! Thank you for sharing a recipe from your newest cookbook.

  25. Granny Gay:)
    January 25, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Yummmm…that’s all I need to say here…just Yummm…

  26. January 25, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Looks delish! The pepper jelly sold me!

  27. Elizabeth Manning
    January 30, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I made these and they are wonderful…I’ll be making them again for a baby shower. I used raspberry and fig jam. I also froze them and they were just as good. Great to make ahead. Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: