Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

There’s a reason you often see chocolate and caramel combined in a recipe.  It’s because they work really, really well together and this recipe is no exception.  Dark chocolate cookies with a little pool of homemade caramel in the center, and they’re just perfect.  Really, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like these cookies!



  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 + ½ cup sugar, separated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ t vanilla
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 T butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ½ t sea salt + additional for sprinkling


In a small to medium bowl put the flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl put the butter and your first 2/3 cup of sugar and beat for a minute or two, until it’s nice and fluffy.  Add in the egg yolk, whipping cream and vanilla and beat again until everything is combined, but don’t overbeat – just get it mixed.

Add in the dry mixture and beat until well combined.

Take the remaining ½ cup of sugar and put it into a small bowl.  Roll the dough into balls roughly the size of a ping pong ball and then roll them in the sugar.  Next, put them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, 6 balls to a sheet.  IMG_0572Take your thumb (making sure your hands are clean of course!) and put an indentation into the middle of each one.IMG_0573

Bake the cookies at 350 for about 10 minutes, until they start to harden just a bit around the edges.  Take them out of the oven and let them sit for a minute just until they’re cool enough to touch.  The center indentation may have filled up a little as they baked, so if it did push your thumb lightly into them again to get that center back down.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_0575

When you’re ready to fill them, it’s time for the caramel.  Just a note here – this recipe will make more caramel than you need and that’s more than ok!  Whatever you don’t use, put in an airtight container and refrigerate – it’s great for use on ice cream or to dip apple slices (or other cookies!) into.

On to the caramel!

Put the sugar and butter into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat.   Stir regularly until both the sugar and butter are melted and the mixture has turned nice and golden brown.  Don’t boil it – get it to just before it starts to boil.

When it’s your golden brown color, take the pan off the heat and add in the heavy cream (be careful it might splatter a bit when you first pour it in), and stir continuously until everything is well combined.  Note that the sugar might harden when you add the heavy cream.  Don’t worry.  If that happens, turn the heat onto medium low and stir continually to break it up.  It’ll take a few minutes but you’ll be fine.  Then, add in the vanilla and sea salt and continue to stir until everything is well combined.IMG_0576

Take the pan off the stove and let it cool for about 10 minutes to allow the caramel to thicken a bit.

Then, fill the thumbprint of each cookie with caramel, and sprinkle a little sea salt on each.  IMG_0580IMG_0581

These are easy, and people will think you worked a lot harder than you really did.

Makes about 18 cookies.IMG_0583

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