Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe and photo contributed by Stephanie Diehl Yield:  24 cookies
Prep Time:  20 minutes Chilling and Cooling Time:  3 hours Cook Time:  20 minutes

Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are family-friendly in every way. The size is perfect for small hands and appetites. The ingredient list is small and the instructions are uncomplicated, ensuring a fun-filled afternoon of baking with little helpers. The Chocolate Thumbprints and Caramel Thumbprints can easily be made together; the instructions are the same through step 4.


½ cup (102 grams) granulated sugar

1 (12-inch) log Shortbread Dough

6 ounces packaged caramels, unwrapped (25 to 30, depending on the brand)

3 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the sugar into a small shallow bowl. Slice the log of dough evenly into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and toss it gently in the sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet and make a deep indentation in the middle of each, using your middle finger or a ½ teaspoon measure. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  3. When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown, rotating the tray from back to front halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
  4. Cool cookies on their pan  for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If the indentations puffed up during baking, press them back down while the cookies are still warm.
  5. While the cookies are cooling, combine the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan and set over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramels are melted and smooth.
  6. Using a small spoon, fill the indentations with the caramel mixture. Allow the cookies to cool and harden for about 1 hour before serving. The baked cookie shells can also be frozen for up to 1 month or stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. The baked cookies can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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