These chocolate caramel thumbprint cookies are incredibly rich and decadent, so chocolatey, dusted with powdered sugar, and filled with a smooth caramel. The chocolate cookie is very soft, while the salted caramel is silky smooth and basically melts in your mouth.
Why you will love these chocolate caramel thumbprint cookies
- The flavors. Is there a better combination than chocolate and caramel? I think not. The cookie is made with dark (also known as dutch processed) cocoa powder, which has a very rich chocolatey flavor. The salted caramel is the perfect salty/sweet addition to the chocolate cookie.
- The textures. These cookies basically melt in your mouth. The chocolate cookie is crisp on the edges and so, so soft in the centers, while the salted caramel is silky smooth. One bite and you guys will be in chocolate caramel heaven.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice for these cookies. It makes for the perfect soft and tender crumb.
- Cocoa powder: I prefer to use dark (dutch processed) cocoa powder for these cookies. It has a very deep and rich chocolate flavor.
- Leavener: baking powder allows these cookies to puff up very nicely in the center.
- Butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice for the cookie so we can control exactly how much salt goes into the recipe. To offset the sweetness, we use salted butter for the caramel sauce.
- Cream cheese: cream cheese is also used in the cookie - it provides a slight tang and the best texture to the cookies.
- Sugar: we use both granulated sugar and powdered sugar in this recipe.
- Eggs: one egg and one egg yolk makes for a perfectly soft, thick, and chewy cookie.
- Heavy cream: for the caramel.
- Make the caramel. Make the salted caramel and set aside to cool and thicken while you make the cookie dough.
- Whisk dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat wet ingredients. Beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the granulated sugar and beat. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
- Roll the dough. Scoop the dough and immediately roll it in the granulated sugar. Then roll it in the powdered sugar.
- Bake. Bake for 11-12 minutes until the edges are set and centers are puffed up.
- Assemble. Using a rounded teaspoon, press the bottom of the teaspoon into the cookie until it forms a rounded indent. Fill with the caramel. Enjoy!
Chocolate caramel thumbprint cookie baking tips
I have made many cookies in my lifetime and I have some tips and tricks that I do every single time to ensure my cookies come out *mwah* chef's kiss.
Properly measure the flour.
This applies to all baked goods, but especially in cookies. Too much flour and the cookies will be way too dry and not spread. The best way to measure flour is with a kitchen scale - it is the most accurate. If you don't have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.
Don't over bake.
Cookies are actually really easy to over bake. You want to pull the cookies from the oven when the edges are crisp and golden but the centers are soft and slightly underdone. This is because the cookies continue to bake when you take them out of the oven - so that slightly underdone cookie center will turn into a soft and melty center by the time they are ready to eat.
With a dark dessert like this one, it is obviously hard to tell if the edges are golden, so look at the textures instead. The edges will be set and the centers will be puffed up.
For the caramel, watch the sugar.
Watch the sugar carefully when melting it for the caramel. If you add the butter too early, the caramel will harden right away and be unusable. If you let the sugar melt too long, it will burn. The sugar is completely melted when all of the clumps of sugar have totally dissipated and it is a nice amber color.
How do I store this?
Once completely cool, store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. I actually prefer to eat these cold, too!
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
Other recipes you may like
- Inside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies
- The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Thick and Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies
Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) salted butter room temperature, cubed
- ½ cup (120 mL) heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups (219 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 grams) dark (dutch processed) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- granulated sugar for coating
- powdered sugar for coating
- Add the sugar to a medium-large sauce pan. Place the pan on the stove on low-medium heat while continuously stirring and moving the sugar around the pan. The sugar will clump up before it completely melts.
- Once the sugar completely melts, it will be a smooth amber/caramel colored liquid. It can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes to completely melt.
- Once completely melted, add the cubed butter. It will bubble up. Whisk vigorously until the butter is completely melted into the sugar and they are homogeneous. Let the mixture sit and bubble for 30 seconds to one minute without stirring.
- Slowly add in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble up again. Whisk until the heavy cream is combined. Allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds to one minute without stirring. During this time, it will rise in the pan - let it!
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk to combine. Pour it into a bowl and let it cool and thicken while you make the cookies.
- Next, make the cookie dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, dark cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed until smooth and no lumps remain. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, and mix on low-medium speed until combined, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until a dough forms. It will be thick and sticky.
- Fill a small bowl with granulated sugar and another small bowl with powdered sugar.
- Using a small cookie scoop (mine was a ¾ oz cookie scoop), approximately 25 grams of dough per cookie, scoop the cookie dough and immediately place it in the granulated sugar. Toss to coat - immediately placing the scooped cookie dough into the granulated sugar will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Roll the dough into a ball and toss in the powdered sugar - coat it generously. Place on the lined baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2-3 inches apart. The cookies will spread a little in the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes until the cookies are set. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately, using a rounded teaspoon, press the bottom of the teaspoon into each cookie until it forms a rounded indent.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, fill the indent in the cookies with the caramel. If the caramel has cooled a lot and has become thick, microwave it for 7-10 seconds to loosen it up. This will make it easier to spoon the caramel into the cookies. Dust with additional powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!
Hi, just wanted to check the 18oz/510g cream cheese. Seems a lot along with the butter?
Hi! It's one-8 oz package, so 226 grams 🙂
Oh my goodness. I appear to be your at home baking tester. These were delicious!
Thank you so much Lisa!