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Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Covered in chopped nuts and drizzled with chocolate, these cookies are delicious and pretty, too. Everybody looks forward to munching on them during the holidays. —Elizabeth Marino, San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    about 2-1/2 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, separated
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 12 to 14 caramels
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls. In a shallow bowl, beat egg white. Place pecans in a separate shallow bowl. Dip balls in egg white, then in pecans, patting to help pecans adhere.
  • Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Press a deep indentation in center of each with the end of a wooden spoon handle. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, melt caramels with cream over low heat; stir until smooth. Fill each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 128 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • 2124arizona
    Dec 21, 2020

    I used dutch process cocoa. The are so good. They're worth the time and effort. We love them. We'll make these again!

  • guamhead
    Dec 19, 2020

    No comment left

  • Michael
    Sep 22, 2019

    I am part of the baking team at my church and bring in treats once a month. I was cruising around the internet trying to find a fall-type recipe that wasn't the typical pumpkin-spice-everything. Don't get me wrong, I like pumpkin, too. I just didn't want to burn people out on it. I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. I made a couple of batches and took them to work as a trial run. People at work loved them. They freeze really well, too. I knew I wouldn't have time to go through the whole process again on the Saturday before I took them to church. I made the cookies a week ahead of time and put them in the freezer. Then I defrosted them and made the caramel on that Saturday night. Everyone raved about them! I added a little instant coffee powder to the cookies and a little salt to the caramel. Delicious! Incredibly easy to make and a really great fall flavor combination with the caramel and pecans!

  • Rebecca
    Dec 23, 2018

    I got to admit, I was pretty proud of myself when I finished making these. the finished product looked amazing and tasted delicious. I'd describe them more as rich dark chocolate brownie bites then cookies. The only thing for me is that they were a bit sweet fir my liking,your which surprised me saying that others users reveiwed that they weren't sweet enough. Besides that I will definitely be making more of these soon, maybe with just a bit if tweaks here I there for personal liking. Oh and I used a tbsp less cream in the caramel to keep it thicker,to set quicker and to hopefully extend shelf life

  • Darlene
    Dec 22, 2018

    I had company come in a few weeks before Christmas. I made 4 batches of these cookies. Everyone loved them . They became a new family favorite. It is 3 days before Christmas and everyone wants more. I just made 4 more batches. They are so easy to make and taste awesome!

  • Reenwad
    Mar 15, 2018

    Why is this listed under "low carb" recipes? Not even close to being low carb!

  • Donut Queen
    Oct 19, 2017

    I made these once for Christmas (following the recipe faithfully) and, though others in my family gave rave reviews, I was a bit disappointed. Likely because I was expecting a very sweet, Turtles-like cookie, but got a lightly sweetened, very rich one instead.

  • GStaelens
    Jan 25, 2017


  • Jody
    Jan 17, 2017

    These cookies are amazingly delicious! Made exactly according to the recipe & they turn out perfect every time... Double batch at Christmas for treat trays and another batch since then for someone who missed out! Make these, you won't be sorry! :)

  • JoAnn
    Dec 4, 2016

    Just finished making these cookies. I made them the glutenfree version instead using Predidents Choice GF flour, same amount as the original recipe. Used semi salted butter and 14 caramels and baked them for 11 minutes. Had some caramel mixture left over so will use 12 caramels next time. I used a small scoop to form the cookies and ended up with 28 cookies. They look wonderful and tasted great.