These Chocolate Pecan Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are a decadent cookie reminiscent of a turtle chocolate. It's simple cookie dough yields a chewy bite, just like a fudgy brownie. They are covered in finely chopped pecans, with a center of salted caramel sauce and finished with a drizzle of dark chocolate. These cookies are delicious and pretty, making them the perfect start to holiday baking.
- Vanilla Extract
- Dutch Cocoa
- Dark Chocolate
- Homemade Caramel Sauce or Caramel Squares + Cream
- Make the Dough
- Divide the dough and Chill or Chill and then Divide.
- Roll Dough Balls in egg White then coat in crushed pecans
- Create a center well with a round object (such as a wooden spoon handle)
- Prepare Caramel
- Fill Cookies with Caramel Sauce
- Prepare Chocolate
- Drizzle Chocolate
- Consume too many and enter into a food coma.
Tips to Make your life easier:
Look, I get it making Chocolate Pecan Caramel Thumbprint Cookies can be intimidating but its a bunch of simple steps that will create a delicious result. Here are a few tips I have from making them every Christmas for the past 6+ years.
- Put the caramel sauce in a squeeze bottle or pipping bag or at the very least a ziploc bag with the corner cut. The most time consuming part of this, is getting the caramel in the center of the cookie. That takes mere seconds with a bottle or bag but it is a time consuming mess if you attempt to ladle it in with a spoon.
- Get the Pecans crushed small! They are going to stick to the cookie dough and actually stay there if they are smaller. I like to crush mine with a rolling pin. This makes it quick and easy to do without the risk of over doing it and making nut butter 🙄
- Similar to the caramel, put the chocolate in a piping bag. It is usually too thick to put in a squeeze bottle but a bag works great. This gives you great control and WAY less mess than the sweeping motion of a fork.
- If your dough allows it and you have a cookie scoop, I find dividing the dough before chilling it is easier then chilling it in a "brick" and then dividing and shaping. Either way works though so you do you.
- No need to transfer to a wire rack to chill, I find they set up well enough left on the cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is also 100x easier to clean up than a wire cooling rack that is covered in chocolate and caramel.
Yes, they can! Keep them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.
Yes, Roll the whole dough ball all around in the pecans.
When melting chocolate chips and thinning it out, people will often seize it. (Clumpy/grainy/yucky) If this happens; Start over and microwave in 10 second increments stirring well in between each time in the microwave. If you have a super powerful microwave you can change the power to 50%. When you add FAT to chocolate it helps thin it out without seizing it. Milk and water are a no go. Stick to Shortening or Butter 😋
If you're Christmas baking right now, try my Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies next!!
This recipe is originally from Taste of Home.
Chocolate Pecan Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- ½ Cup Salted Butter Room Temperature
- ⅔ Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg Room Temperature, Seperated
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- ⅓ Cup Cocoa Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Table Salt
- 1 Cup Pecans Finely Chopped
Caramel Filling (can make homemade caramel sauce in place of this, if you wish to.)
- 12-14 Caramel Squares
- 3 Tablespoons 33% Whipping Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt (optional topping)
- ½ Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 Teaspoon Butter or Shortening
- Separate the Egg yolk from the egg white. Place in two separate dishes and set aside for later.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. (no longer in clumps)
- Add the egg yolk, vanilla and milk to the butter and cream. Blend to combine.
- Sift the cocoa powder into the flour and salt and stir to combine. Add this blend in parts to the bowl until it is all mixed in.
- Divide into 40 equally sized portions. This is easily done with a cookie scoop. If you don't have a cookie scoop, it is easier to handle the dough once it has been chilled so chill the dough and then divide.
- Chill the dough balls until set up, about 30 Minutes
Coat and Bake Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Crush Pecan pieces with a rolling pin. Roll each ball in the egg white you separated earlier, and then roll the whole ball into the pecans, making sure to apply pressure and ensure you have adhered the nuts to the dough ball.
- Line two baking sheets with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Top the sheets with prepared dough balls. Rows of 4, 20 dough balls per sheet.
- Make an indentation with a round object in the center of each cookie. I like to find something that is half the diameter of the cookie ball. So, say your cookie balls are 2" wide, find a 1" wide object to create the indentation. I find a wooden spoon handle works best for this, but feel free to get creative or go old school and use your THUMB!
- Bake for 10 Minutes
- If using Caramel Squares instead of homemade sauce: Simply remove from packaging and place into a saucepan with the cream. Turn the heat to low and stir until it has melted and is all combined.
- Place caramel sauce into a squeeze bottle or piping bag (allow to cool slightly first if putting it in a bag) Fill Each cookie with caramel.
- If you are using Maldon flaked salt, sprinkle a bit on each cookie now.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips + Shortening/Butter and microwave in 10 second increments. Stir in between each microwave session. Drizzle over cookies (for an easier and mess free time, place in a piping bag and pipe on chocolate.
- Allow chocolate and caramel to set up at room temperature before storing in an airtight container.