The BEST Thumbprint Cookies

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I need to practice “filling” the thumbprints. Badly.

For my family Pre-Passover dinner, I volunteered to make dessert. My mom makes the best Matzah ball soup that I’ve ever had and a mean brisket so I was glad to leave the cooking to her and stick to baking cookies!

I wanted to try something from How to Eat Everything but ended up getting stuck on the idea of thumbprint cookies. So too Google I went to find out how Mr. Bittman makes them. This is his cookie recipe, but the fillings he suggested were way beyond my family’s comprehension. Most of them like good old fashioned chocolate with nothing fancy added. But I was feeling a little daring and made a few salted caramel cookies, too (which were MORE of a hit than the plain chocolate–it was a shocker, trust me).

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The “fillings” are from Martha Stewart. I decreased the caramel recipe by quite a lot since I only made a quarter of the cookies with that filling, but that is the general idea. These were my kind of cookies: soft, with just enough sweetness that made them taste perfectly balanced with the filling/topping whatever you want to call it.

I can’t wait to make these again and be a little more adventurous with the  fillings!

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Cookie ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more if needed

Chocolate ingredients:

  • 2-3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salted Caramel ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 12 ounces small soft caramel candies
  • A pinch of sea salt for each cookie


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until well blended.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the dough, beat for a moment, then add the milk. Beat for about 10 more seconds, then add the remaining dry ingredients. You can add a little more milk, if necessary, to make a soft dough.

To form the cookies, roll the dough into 1 inch diameter balls and then press the pad of your thumb into the middle to flatten the ball and make an indentation.

Arrange on baking sheets and bake until bottoms are brown, for about 10 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate and butter together and the caramel and heavy cream together in 2 separate double broilers.

You can press your thumb, or use another kitchen tool (I used the bottom of a whisk) to make the thumbprint if they have disappeared while baking. Let cookies cool for a few minutes on drying racks and then add in the melted chocolate or the caramel.


4 thoughts on “The BEST Thumbprint Cookies

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