Salted caramel thumbprint cookies are soft, buttery cookies topped with a pool of chewy, gooey, creamy caramel and a sprinkling of sea salt. Not only are they scrumptious, but they look beautiful.
And since they’re thumbprint cookies, they’re fun to make!
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Thumb Print Cookies
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for exact amounts and instructions.
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- caramel bits
- flaked sea salt
How to make thumbprint cookies with salted caramel
Cream the butter and sugars together. Add flour and salt to butter mixture until combined in a soft dough.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cookie spray or lined with parchment paper.
Use your thumb to press an indent in the cookie’s center.
Chill the thumb printed cookies in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, then bake for 10-12 minutes.
If the indent puffs up too much, use a teaspoon—not your thumb, the cookies are hot— to push the centers back down. Be gentle. I cracked a couple from pushing too hard. Oops!
Let the cookies cool completely, then combine the caramel bits and a little water in a microwavable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds at a time, stirring well each time. Depending on your microwave, it will take a few 20-second intervals.
Spoon the melted caramel mixture into the indents and then sprinkle with flaked sea salt to taste. I tend to go easy with the salt but if you like more, go for it.
Then give those cookies a couple of hours for the caramel to set before gobbling them up!
FAQ about Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
A teaspoon is a perfect size for forming the indent, but it tends to stick to the dough unless you repeatedly spray it with non-stick spray. Your thumb is best for this particular dough.
We want the fats (in this case, butter) to be very cold and solid before baking so that the cookies won’t spread as much.
I like chewy caramel in these cookies, and these creamy and chewy caramel bits are perfect.
I recommend using flaked sea salt for a gentler saltiness without the crunch.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days. I recommend placing a sheet of wax paper between cookies if you stack them to help prevent sticking.
Yep. Store in an airtight container and place waxed paper between cookie layers to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before eating.
Other Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- Hilton Doubletree chocolate chip cookies
- Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies
- Frosted orange drop cookies
- Pistachio pudding cookies with chocolate chips
- Nestle Crunch oatmeal cookies
Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup caramel bits
- 2 tablespoons water
- Flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until combined and creamy.
- Add flour and salt and mix until soft dough forms.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an indent in the center of the dough ball. Chill cookies in fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. If centers puff up, gently push down with spoon to form indent again. Cool completely.
- In microwave-safe bowl, add caramel bits and water. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, microwave, stir until melted and smooth.
- Fill the center of each cookie 3/4 of the way with the caramel and sprinkle flaked sea salt on top. Let cookies sit for 30 minutes to allow caramel to set up.