Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies – Boulder Locavore®

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are a chocolate lover’s dream! A deep chocolate cookie with a bite of creamy chocolate center and crunch in the middle. The chocolate cookies are filled with a creamy chocolate ganache and topped with sprinkles or crushed peppermint candies.

chocolate thumbprint cookies on a plate with text.

Thumbprint cookies are a classic for holiday cookie trays and cookie swap parties. Thumbprint cookies have an indentation in the top that’s filled with something delicious. A classic thumbprint cookie is buttery shortbread cookies with jam or fruit preserves in the indentation.

This chocolate spin makes perfect cookies any time of the year and is also a perfect holiday cookie too. Chocolate cookie with silky ganache chocolate filling and you can change the topping up in lots of different ways (suggestions included).

Jump to:

Recipe Ingredient Notes

chocolate thumbprint cookies labeled ingredients.

Unsalted Butter. Use room temperature butter for best results.

Eggs. You’ll need one large egg at room temperature.

Unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder. Dark chocolate cocoa powder really creates the rich chocolate flavor in these cookies. For substitutions see Variations & Substitutions below.

All purpose flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend can be used. We use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend for gluten-free baking. Be sure to scoop the flour into a measuring cup and level it off on top with a dull knife to not use too much flour (scooping out the flour can lead to packed flour).

Semi sweet chocolate chips. These are used to make the chocolate filling in the center of each cookie.

Heavy whipping cream. This is also used to make the filling.

Sprinkles or toppings. These are optional but can be anything small from sprinkles to crushed candy bits, nuts and more (see Variations below).

chocolate thumbprint cookies with peppermint topping.

How to make Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

STEP 1. Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

IMPORTANT NOTE: do not spray the cookie sheet as it could cause the cookies to spread too much. An ungreased cookie sheet is needed for this recipe to work well.

chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe steps 1-4.

STEP 2. Make the cookie dough

In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy (photo 1).

Add the egg and vanilla extract; mix until combined (photo 2). Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder (photo 3). Add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the other half and continue mixing just until combined (photo 4).

chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe steps 5-8.

STEP 3. Scoop

Using a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon in volume) or a tablespoon, scoop a ball of cookie dough and roll it into a ball (photo 5).

Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart (photo 6). Using the back of a ¼ teaspoon, make an indentation into the center of each ball (photos 7-8).

chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe steps 9-12.

STEP 4. Bake and Cool

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies no longer look wet.

When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two before moving to a cooling wire rack (photos 9-10).

If the cookies have lost their indentation while baking, press the back of a teaspoon into the cookies while warm to recreate the indentation.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling.

chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe steps 13-14.

STEP 5. Make the filling

In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the filling ingredients (semisweet chocolate chips, heavy cream and butter) and microwave on high for 30 seconds; stare (photos 11-12).

If not completely melted, cook for another 10 seconds; stare. Continue at 5 second intervals, stirring between each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Spoon ½ teaspoon of chocolate creamy ganache into the indentation of each cookie (photo 13). Top with decorations if desired (photo 14). Allow the cookies to set for 2 hours before storing.

chocolate thumbprint cookies close up

Expert Tips

  • Make sure the butter is room temperature, but not too soft. If the butter is too soft it could cause the cookie to spread.
  • The dough is best not chilled. Chilling the dough could cause the cookie to crack. Cracking will not affect the taste of the cookie, but it will affect presentation.
  • If a teaspoon isn’t available to press the cookies, use your thumb! Using a teaspoon will provide a more uniform indentation.
  • Use the end of a wooden spoon. Although we prefer using a 1/4 teaspoon for the indentation the end of a wooden spoon can also be used.
  • If after the cookies have baked the indentation tends to lessen, remake the indentation using a teaspoon. I like to press deep as possible to make room for lots of chocolate filling.

Variations & Substitutions

Substitute cocoa powder type. If dark chocolate cocoa powder isn’t available, use regular cocoa powder. The best taste will come with the dark chocolate.

Toppings. Any topping could be used: sprinkles, peppermint pieces, sanding sugar, crushed nuts, or even crushed toffee. Consider cookie add-in ingredients that are very small size like Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips, Health Bits-o-Brickle toffee bits, Wilton Peppermint Crunch sprinkles. These work great for toppings.

chocolate thumbprint cookies with peppermint topping stacked.

How to store

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days in cool conditions out of direct sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can these cookies be frozen?

Yes! Once they have been assembled allow them to sit for 2 hours. Place in an airtight freezer-safe container (I usually add parchment paper between layers too) and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow them to do that in the refrigerator before serving.

More recipes you’ll love!

Recipe

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Soft chocolate cookies with creamy chocolate ganache in the center topped with sprinkles or candy bits. This sweet version of classic thumbprint cookies is a chocolate lovers dream perfect any time of the year.

Print
Save Recipe

Pin

Rate

Courses: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Cooling + Filling time (estimate): 30 minutes

Total Time: 59 minutes

Servings: 45 cookies

Calories: 109kcal

Prevent your screen from going dark

Equipment

1 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop

Instructions

Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. NOTE: do not spray with non-stick spray; this will cause the cookies to spread.

  • In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract; mix until combined. Set aside.

    1 cup unsalted butter, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup light brown sugar, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

    1/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder, 2 cups all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the other half and continue mixing just until combined.

  • Using a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon in volume) or a tablespoon, scoop a ball of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Using the back of a ¼ teaspoon, make an indentation into the dough. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies no longer look wet.

  • When the cookies are done, allow to cool for a minute or two before moving to a cooling rack. NOTE: If the cookies have lost their indentation while baking, press the back of a teaspoon into the cookies while warm to recreate the indentation. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling.

Filling

  • In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the filling ingredients and microwave on high for 30 seconds; stare. If not completely melted, cook for another 10 seconds; stare. Continue at 5 second intervals, stirring between each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons butter

  • Spoon ½ teaspoon of chocolate into the wells of each cookie. Top with decorations if desired.

  • Allow the cookies to set for 2 hours before storing.

Notes

Expert tips

  • Make sure the butter is room temperature, but not too soft. If the butter is too soft it could cause the cookie to spread.
  • The dough is best not chilled. Chilling the dough could cause the cookie to crack. Cracking will not affect the taste of the cookie, but it will affect presentation.
  • If a teaspoon isn’t available to press the cookies, use your thumb! Using a teaspoon will provide a more uniform indentation.
  • After the cookies have baked the indentation tends to lessen, remake the indentation using a teaspoon. I like to press deep as possible to make room for lots of chocolate filling

Variations & Substitutions

  • If dark chocolate cocoa powder isn’t available, use regular cocoa powder. The best taste will come with the dark chocolate.
  • Any topping could be used, sprinkles, peppermint pieces, sanding sugar, crushed nuts, or even crushed toffee.

How to Store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days in cool conditions out of direct sunlight.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Dish: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Comment