Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies ~ The classic thumbprint cookie gets a trendy update with some smooth and creamy salted caramel.

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies BakersRoyale1

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

This craze has hit fast and hard in my home. It was only a short while ago that I had to beg my husband to try a salted caramel anything and now this is his favorite combination. It reminds him of the sweet and salty pairing of chocolate covered pretzels. And that’s exactly how I sold it to him when I needed him to be a tester for my Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cup.

After making him a believer, it didn’t take any cajoling when these came out of the oven.  In fact, I was lucky to have a few left to photograph.

A few notes:
1.  I have provided a purist and cheat version for the caramel sauce. The one you see in the picture is the cheat version.  Click here for the purist version that I use in my Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bar.
2. Don’t fill your thumb print hole prior to baking. That may work with traditional thumbprints that are made with jams and preserves, but the caramel sauce lacks the gelatinous component to keep its consistency while the cookies are baking.
3.  I used almonds because it is one of two nuts my husband will eat, but pecans would also be suitable for these Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies.
4. Toast your nuts to extract the best flavor. Keep in mind nuts quickly go from baking to burnt, so keep a watchful eye.
5. The cookies can be stored up to three days in an airtight container between parchment paper.

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
Step by Step11

Yields 24 cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.



  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ sugars
  • ¼ light brown sugar
  • 1 egg separated
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • nuts

Caramel Sauce:

  • 20 Kraft caramel squares
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add light brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined. Set batter aside.
3. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt.
4. Slowly add flour mixture to batter while beating on low until the dough resembles lumpy wet sand.  Do not overbeat or the dough will become sticky. (see #1)
5. Form into one inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6. In the mean time, beat egg white until frothy.
7. Removed chilled dough and dip into egg whites first then roll into nuts.
8. Using either your thumb or a round ended tool (I used the end of a pastry brush) to create an indentation.
9. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.

Toast Nuts:
1. Place preferred nuts on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. Cool completely before chopping.

Caramel Sauce:
1. Place caramel squares and cream in a sauce pan and melt over low heat for approximately 7-8 minutes.
2. Caramel sauce is ready when it is free of any solids.

1. Fill indentation of thumbprint cookies. (See #4)
2. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    These looked so delectable I had to make them myself! Unfortunately mine didn’t work as nicely as yours… They spread out on the tray too much and lost their thumb indents. I managed to nudge them back into shape straight out of the oven though and squashed the middles down to re-make the indents. Anywho, they still taste delicious and if I’m being honest, its all about the caramel anyway – the cookie is just a means to an end!