Easy Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Indulgent chocolate cookies with a rich dark chocolate ganache filling, these chocolate thumbprint cookies will quickly become your favorite! Simple to make and a must-try for chocolate lovers!

chocolate thumbprint cookies
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

About This Recipe

These chocolate thumbprint cookies are made up of two components, the chocolate cookie and the chocolate filling. The chocolate cookies is just a plain sugar cookie recipe with cocoa powder. It’s made with simple, pantry staple ingredients and you don’t need and sort of kitchen equipment to make the cookie dough, just a bowl and a spatula! The cookies also do not contain any eggs and the dough does not need to be chilled!

The chocolate filling is dark chocolate ganache that only require two ingredients to make. However, you could also just fill your cookies with Nutella, or any other chocolate spread, if you don’t want to go the extra step in making the chocolate ganache.

I love making thumbprint cookies because of how easy they are to make! The thing I like most about them is that they do not have to look perfect, in fact they’re supposed to look messy!

Another thing I like about these chocolate thumbprint cookies, or just thumbprint cookies in general, is that you can have fun with the fillings! Add your favorites jams, or spreads, or even add multiple filling in one batch to make a variety of different flavors! Here’s my Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies recipe and my Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies recipe if you prefer a vanilla cookie base.

What You Need To Make This Recipe

Flour: all you need is regular all-purpose flour. I have not made this recipe with any other type of flour.

Butter: you’ll need softened unsalted butter. It’s very important that your butter is really soft, otherwise it will be difficult to cream with the sugar by hand. Here’s a tip to quickly bring butter to room temperature.

Powdered sugar: also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, this is for the cookie dough. If you don’t have powdered sugar you could use granulated sugar.

Cocoa powder: I used dutch-processed cocoa powder. The better the quality of your cocoa powder, the richer the chocolate flavor will be in your cookies.

Vanilla extract: adding a little bit of vanilla any of your bakes really adds a depth of flavor and a beautiful aroma.

Granulated sugar: this is for rolling the cookies in before baking. It is an optional ingredient, so if you don’t want to coat your cookies in sugar before baking them, you don’t need this.

Chocolate Ganache: this is made with 2 ingredients: dark chocolate and heavy cream. The recipe will be included down below.

How To Make Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients (except for powdered sugar) and set aside.

Step 2: Cream softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes until creamy. I used a spatula, because the butter is soft, it should be very easy to cream them with a spatula. But you could also use an electric mixer if you’d like.

Step 3: Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until it forms a dough.

Step 4: Measure one Tbsp portions of the dough and roll them into smooth balls.

Step 5: Roll each of the balls in granulated sugar and arrange them on a lined baking tray, leaving a little bit of space between each ball.

Step 6: Use a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to make indents on the center of each of the cookie dough balls. The sides may crack and that’s totally fine. Use your fingers to fix any cracks that are too big. Bake the chocolate thumbprint cookies at an oven preheated to 180 °C / 350 °F for 8-10 minutes. Once baked let the cookies cool down completely on the baking tray. If the centers have risen a bit, use the 1/2 teaspoon to gently press it back down right when the cookies come out of the oven.

Step 7: Use a piping bag (or a spoon) to fill the center of the thumbprint cookies with chocolate ganache, the instructions for making the ganache is in the recipe card below. Or you could just fill your cookies with Nutella instead.

Storing/Freezing The Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Store the cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.

To freeze the cookie dough: scoop the chilled cookie dough on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 2 hours. Then transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw at room temperature, then follow the steps from step 5 in the recipe.

Pro Tips

  • Here’s a tip to quickly soften butter: cut the butter into small cubes and place them into a microwave safe bowl, then microwave at 20% power in 10 second intervals until the butter has softened (it should take about 20 seconds in total).
  • Measure you flour correctly! Adding too much or too little flour will change the texture of the cookies dramatically. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off using the back of the spoon
  • If you have a convection oven (oven with a fan setting), reduce the temperature by 20 degrees.
  • Use softened butter, this make a huge difference when creaming the butter and sugar together, especially when you’re going to do it by hand.
  • Use a good quality cocoa powder. This will give the cookies a rich and intense chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa powder would be the best option.
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

FAQ’s

Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?

Of course, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 1-2 days. Once you’re ready to use it, just let it sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes before scooping it into balls because the dough will be slightly hard.

Can I skip the cocoa powder and make the base vanilla?

No, if you want a vanilla cookie base you can use this recipe and add chocolate ganache as the filling instead of the filling used in the recipe.

What other fillings can I use for the thumbprint cookies?

When it comes to thumbprint cookie filling the options are actually endless, here as some ideas:

  • Lemon Curd (add before baking) (*Not my recipe)
  • Melted chocolate (add after baking)
  • Nutella/ chocolate spread (add after)
  • Cream cheese frosting (add after baking)
  • White chocolate (add after baking)
  • Salted caramel (can be added before or after baking)
  • Strawberry jam, or any other flavored jam (add before baking)
Chocolate thumbprint cookies

Check out my YouTube Channel for detailed recipe tutorials! Made one of my recipes? Tag me on Instagram, I would love to see your creations!

Recipe Card

Easy Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Indulgent chocolate cookies with a rich dark chocolate ganache filling, these chocolate thumbprint cookies will quickly become your favorite! Simple to make and a must-try for chocolate lovers!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Total Time: 30 min

Course: Dessert/Snack

Servings: 15 cookies

Calories: 168kcal

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:

  • 1 + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour (135g)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (25g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (113g)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (72g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for coating)

For the Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips/chunks (100g)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (60ml)

Equipment/Utensils

  • 2 Medium sized bowls
  • Spatula
  • Baking tray (lined with parchment paper)
  • Piping bag (optional)

Instructions

Make the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F, and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl combine all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium sized bowl cream together softened butter and powdered sugar until creamy, 1-2 minutes. You can use a spatula or even an electric hand/stand mixer.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until a dough forms.
  5. Measure 1 Tbsp portions of the dough and roll each portion into a smooth ball. Roll each of the balls in granulated sugar and place them on the prepared baking tray leaving at least 1 inch of space between them.
  6. Use a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to gently press into the center of each of the cookie dough balls. Use your fingers to fix any cracks. You could also use your thumb to make the indents!
  7. Bake them for 8-10 minutes. If the centers have risen use the 1/2 tsp to gently press them back down immediately after you remove them from the oven. Let the thumbprint cookies cool down completely on the tray.

Make the Chocolate Filling:

  1. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat until small bubbles start to form on the side, do not bring it to a boil.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips/chunks. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let that sit for 5 minutes untouched.
  3. Use a spatula to mix the cream and chocolate, you should have a smooth ganache. If the chocolate isn’t fully melted you could use a double boiler or microwave the ganache in 10-second increments stirring in between.
  4. Let the chocolate ganache cool down completely, (refrigerate to speed up the process), then transfer it into a piping bag.

Assemble:

  1. Use the piping bag to fill the cooled cookies with the chocolate ganache, or you could just use a spoon. Let the ganache set for 15-20 minutes (if you want) and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 168.3kcal

Total Fat: 9.58g

Carbs: 20.37g

Sugars: 11.86g

Protein: 1.69g

Sodium: 40.04mg

Fiber: 1.13g

 **Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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