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Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

These soft, dark chocolate thumbprint cookies are filled with homemade caramel sauce, drizzled with melted dark chocolate, and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 31 minutes
Servings 19 cookies


Dark Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Decorating

  • 1/2 cup good quality dark chocoalte chips
  • flaky sea salt


Dark Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper).

  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and espresso powder. Set aside.

  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating on low speed to combine.

  4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low until incorporated. Then, add heavy cream and mix again to combine. Cover and chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes.

  5. Once dough is chilled, use a medium size cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) to shape dough into balls and place on cookie sheet, a couple inches apart. This recipe makes approximately 18-20 cookies. Press down firmly in the center of each cookie with your thumb. It's okay if the dough cracks a little bit around the edges.

  6. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes, they should look slightly underdone. Cookies will still rise a bit in the center. You can deflate the centers with the back of a spoon when they come out of the oven.

  7. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  1. Melt sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Sugar will start to clump and turn amber-colored, then it will melt down. Keep stirring until the sugar has completely melted (it will liquify).

  2. Reduce heat to low and add the butter. Stir together with the melted sugar until the butter is completely melted. Warning: adding the butter will cause the mixture to bubble and splatter - this is okay! Just be careful.

  3. Carefully pour in the heavy cream while continuing to stir the mixture. Again, the mixture will bubble up at this step. Increase heat slightly to medium-low and cook the caramel sauce for another minute or so. It will look foamy and continue to bubble.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Pour into a glass jar and let cool. Caramel will thicken up as it cools. If necessary, you can microwave it for a few seconds for a pourable consistency.

Decorating the Cookies

  1. Once the cookies are cool, spoon caramel sauce into the center of each cookie.

  2. Melt the chocolate chips and pour into a squeeze bottle and drizzle chocolate over the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.