Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints


These decadent cookies are rolled in pecans, drenched with thick caramel, and topped with a chocolate drizzle.

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
Photo: Marty Baldwin
Prep Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Bake Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
36 cookies


  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped*

  • 3 tablespoon whipping cream*

  • 1 ¼ cup finely chopped pecans

  • ½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces

  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

  2. In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

  4. Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. (If necessary, reheat caramel mixture to keep it spoonable.)

  6. In another saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies.** Let stand until chocolate is set. Makes 36 cookies.

Chocolate Fudge Pistacchio Thumbprints

Swap the pecans in recipe by using finely chopped pistachios. Substitute the caramel filling for ganache. To make the ganache, pour 1/3 cup of warmed heavy cream over 8 ounces of chopped high-quality dark chocolate and stir until smooth and thick. Wait until thumbprints are completely cooled before filling with ganache.


You may substitute 1/2 cup caramel apple dip for the caramels and whipping cream. Place the dip in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) for 20 seconds. Stir before using.


If desired, transfer the warm melted chocolate to a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate.

To Store:

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

114 Calories
7g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 36
Calories 114
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Calcium 20.2mg 2%
Iron 0.5mg 3%
Potassium 42mg 1%
Folate, total 8.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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