The Sweetest Crumb

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

With it being a hectic couple of weeks, Christmas coming up (4 days!) and all the baking and fundraising we did, I sadly don’t have time to post the recipes for all the cookies we made last week. I promise I will be posting them over time though, and if you have a specific one you want me to share just let me know. I figured for now I would pick one to share with everyone. It was really hard narrowing it down to just one. I ended up picking the chocolate caramel thumbprints. I’ve been making these for years from a recipe I got from a Holiday Cooking magazine and they’re one of my favourite cookies. This year, as part of our Christmas baking, we made 4 times the recipe – that’s how good they are! They’re loaded with everything that makes a cookie great – chocolate, nuts and caramel. I’ve had many people ask for the recipe so I’m sure you will love these!

chocolate caramel thumbprints ready to eat

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

By Genia Rodnyansky Published: December 20, 2012

  • Yield: 35 cookies

Recipe summary


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 16 soft caramels
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 cup pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup milk chocolate pieces to drizzle


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and chill the whites until you need them.
  2. Beat the butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add milk, vanilla and egg yolk and beat again to combine.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. The dough will be very sticky. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or until it is easy to handle.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly beat the egg whites. Place your chopped pecans in a shallow bowl.
  5. Scoop your chilled dough using a melon baller and form into balls. Roll each ball in the beaten egg whites and then the chopped pecans. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1" apart. Use your thumb to make an indent in each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are firm.
  6. Once the cookies are baked, combine the unwrapped caramels and whipping cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over a low heat setting, stirring to create a smooth mixture. Once completely smooth, remove from heat and pour to fill the indent in each cooled cookie. If the caramel mixture starts to thicken too much, you can reheat it.
  7. Once the caramel mixture inside each cookie has cooled, melt the chocolate pieces in a double boiler or a heavy-bottomed saucepan on low heat. Drizzle each cookie with chocolate using a piping bag.

    Some tips to remember when making these:

    • For the caramels, I use those really simple square, soft caramel candies in the clear wrappers. Any kind of soft caramel chews should work though.
    • The melon baller I use is about the size of 1.5 tablespoons. If you don’t have one, you can eyeball the amounts, use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to keep the cookies an even size.

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