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Chocolate Thumbprints Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Thumbprints Cookies Recipe

My group of friends had a weekly "movie night" during winters on Martha's Vineyard, and we'd take turns making a chocolate treat to share. These terrific cookies were an instant success. Once they debuted, I had to make them many more times. —Laura Bryant German, W. Warren, Massachusetts
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min. + cooling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 milk chocolate kisses


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until or until easy to handle.
  • 2. In a small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; dip in egg white, then roll in nuts. Place on greased baking sheets. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in center of each cookie. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until center is set.
  • 3. For filling, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spoon or pipe 1/4 teaspoon into each warm cookie; gently press a chocolate kiss in the center. Carefully remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 307 calories, 18g fat (8g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Reviews for Chocolate Thumbprints Cookies

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ladyfarmer1942 User ID: 553569 258564
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2016

"Very disappointed in these. They spread and did not hold their shape at all, even though I followed the directions carefully. I will not make these again. (BTW, I'm an experienced baker, so it wasn't beginners bad luck)."

[email protected] User ID: 5774466 258335
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2016

"Outstanding!! I made them for a Christmas party, doubled the batch and they were gone.....

the only change I made was to use the special dark baking cocoa.... adding this to the recipe book!! thanks for sharing..."

MelindaH User ID: 5959954 258256
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2016

"These were so so good.. Labor intensive for sure... The one thing I'd say is that 10-12 minutes (for me) was WAY OFF. I did 12 to be safe and I think they needed another 3 minutes at least. It has a consistency of a fudge when it's done. Not a cookie... But again, very tasty.. one is all you can eat!"

tsuop User ID: 6274346 257725
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2016

"I get it, 24 cookies 26 chocolate Kisses (2 for the baker : )) I'm taking these to our Church cookie Exchange .... Can't wait to try them. They sound really easy. Stay tuned."

Anna User ID: 8975358 257307
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2016

"Just made these for the first time with my grandsons, ages 8 and 11. Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfectly, just as in the picture. They were fun to make together and so delicious!"

dcscake_OH User ID: 228890 255306
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2016

"I made these for my book club, but I made 1/2" balls and semi-sweet choc. chips, they were a real hit. Loved them."

7833louis User ID: 1040763 244987
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2016

"I made 2 batches. The first, by mistake, I made 12 cookies instead of 24. That ended up working well. The second batch I made 24 cookies and cut the filling by half. I also reduced the sugar by not quite half throughout the recipe. That really made them taste as though I was using "dark chocolate." In addition, I used "dark chocolate" Kisses. Next time I'll make 12 with half the filling and reduced sugar and dark Kisses. The kids rated it a "keeper" to the Christmas cookie list. Thanks for sharing!"

helavagoodcook User ID: 6229861 241210
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2016

"I had absolutely NO difficulties with this cookie. It turned out fabulous and was a "Hit" at the cookie exchange. Because one in our group eats no gluten, I used a gluten free flour I purchased at Costco, Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. It was perfect. (I even used it in my homemade brownies for our church bake sale!). Be sure your nuts are chopped well so after dipping the cookie ball in the egg white it is well coated with nuts. No one likes scrambled egg whites on their cookies."

mabzebra User ID: 7457909 241087
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2016

"I mistakenly shaped the dough into 1/2 inch balls and discovered the chocolate kiss was too big for the dough. I used chocolate morsels instead and discovered I liked the smaller bite-size version and so did my husband's co-workers!"

Craftycatlover User ID: 8305413 240893
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2016

"Some helpful tips are: 1) refrigerate dough divided into 4 parts, work with only one part out of the refrigerator at a time, 2) use a slotted ladle like spoon to dip cookie in egg white or nuts, 3) wait for 5 minutes before adding filling for more cooling time, 4) pipe filling from a sandwich bag with tiny corner cut off, 5) experiment with cherry cordial kisses or caramel kisses or peppermint kisses and different fillings such as caramel or marshmallow or peanut butter! Have fun with this tasty cookie that looks like it's from a bakery!"

dilbert098 User ID: 3743376 239481
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015


The dough was sticky. I just did it quick so they wouldn't melt at room temperature.
The cookies didn't maintain their thumbprint while in the oven. Don't sweat the small stuff. I put icing on the top and the kiss on top of that and it was fine.
I used parchment paper on my cookie sheets. They were easy to remove.
You do have to let them cool before putting the icing on them or it will run and the kiss will melt.
I forgot to cocoa powder (who does that?), they still tasted amazing. I've had lots of complements. I will make these again and recommend the recipe to others. It's a good low-medium maintenance prep cookie."

kcheekers User ID: 5662753 239378
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2015

"These cookies were tasty and looked really cool! I made them for a cookie exchange and people couldn't stop talking about them. I found that I had to leave them in the oven closer to 14 minutes, but that could just be my oven."

lyneepatchell User ID: 8636443 239088
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2015

"This is is a pretty cookie, but very sweet and rich... If I make them again I'll eliminate the chocolate kiss as the cookie is tasty enough without the icing and extra chocolate."

rebeccatrieber User ID: 8653164 239031
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2015

"I made these to a T as the recipe says. I used real butter for one batch and .97 cent blue bonnet for another with imitation vanilla and there was no difference. to keep your dough from being sticky, any time it says to blend/beat/mix just make sure you do it long enough. that will allow it to harden the way it should. I give 3 stars because they weren't delicious. they're just a chocolate cookie with nuts. I took these to a big cookie exchange party and while they were the coolest looking cookie there, everyone will find them just so. also, I did some without nuts and they bake a lot quicker so beware, the bottoms will burn! OH, and I would recommend 17-18 cookies, they look more like the pic. the 2nd batch I made the 24 serving and they were small and dinkier looking. Also, you'll need a little extra powdered sugar. DON"T add the cream or kisses until almost completely cool. they melt!"

Abigail701 User ID: 8631889 237896
Reviewed Nov. 22, 2015

"Great recipe! I used pecans instead of walnuts and caramel instead of the frosting. Great cake-like cookie and festive!"

woodchuck9 User ID: 2206079 215279
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2014

"I try to make a new recipe or two every Christmas & this one FAILED miserably! The dough is way to soft & sticky. I even added an extra 1/2 cup of flour. The taste is just OK. I will stick to my time tested regular Thumbprint recipe & add the cocoa to that recipe."

hiker4600 User ID: 6343276 214780
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"I loved this recipe! I used dark cocoa & instead of the nuts, which my grandkids don't like I rolled them in red granulated sugar. The dark cocoa makes them very fudgy. . There are so many ways to vary this recipe."

marcierester User ID: 8112642 214048
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2014

"Took these to my Red Hat's Christmas luncheon and they were a hit."

Navybelle User ID: 3165423 213934
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2014

"Can these be frozen? They look so yummy!"

heatherwright User ID: 4038010 6244
Reviewed May. 13, 2014

"We loved these. We make them with pecans and rollos."

czoulekegatewww001 User ID: 7800614 8229
Reviewed May. 13, 2014

"These were fantastic! I will be adding this to my Christmas cookie collection."

BaysideBlondie User ID: 7578015 11067
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2014

"LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! I made them without the "frosting" and I made half of them with the Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses........OMG! To die for!!! Next time I make them, I am going to use a little extra cocoa; I didn't taste the chocolate flavor enough. Although, it may have been because I have had the cocoa for a while and I read that over time, the flavor of the cocoa diminishes. So, to compensate, I will use a little extra and of course, I will also increase the amount of sugar equally. But the cookies were delicious using the exact measurements in this recipe. I strongly recommend trying this recipe with the candy cane kisses if you like chocolate mint. I lined the cookie sheet with parchment paper to avoid the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet and it worked like a charm! Definitely will keep this recipe and make them again and again. They were a big hit!"

Igraine32 User ID: 7006585 200241
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2013

"Fantastic. I was worried cause I'm not an experienced baker and the reviews seemed to indicate these were difficult. I had absolutely no trouble rolling the dough. The walnuts stuck perfectly. It was so easy my 6 year old could do it. I did find that the thumbprints puffed back out in the oven but I just pressed them down again while they were warm. I suggest waiting at least 5 minutes before filling and putting the kisses in."

Fixergrandma User ID: 6221512 9329
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2013

"I used a cup and a half of powdered sugar and the frosting came out thicker; just like the picture. There was no way the frosting was going to work by piping with just 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Too runny!"

blessedgirl8 User ID: 7476626 15905
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2013

"LOVE this recipe! I actually make them with mini M&M's instead of nuts... I don't dip them in the egg white when doing the M&M's because they won't stick right! Great recipe!"

marciehill User ID: 7514800 3042
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

"Looks good...I'm going to try this"

dessertlover07 User ID: 7119905 9080
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2013

"This is one of the best tasting cookies I have ever made. They were soft, chewy, full of flavor and their presentation was a hit. I will make this recipe again."

shiny0torchic User ID: 6958458 11065
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2012

"I have to agree with WIBaker on this recipe, the cookie dough was so sticky that I couldn't roll it into a ball, let alone roll it in chopped walnuts. I even used extra flour and cocoa powder in an attempt to get the dough to thicken up, but no luck? Because of this, I couldn't even make indentations into the cookies for cream. I ended up sticking the kisses into the middle of the cookie 2 minutes after pulling them out of the oven. If there's some secret to this cookie that I'm missing, would somebody let me in on it, lol?"

JessBella6 User ID: 5295511 6243
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2012

"Don't try to frost and top them too soon after pulling them out of the oven or the frosting and chocolate kisses will melt!"

4Huskers User ID: 5191012 9327
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2012

"These turned out really good. No problem with the dough being sticky or anything. Thanks to the other reviews I cooled the cookies completely before putting the frosting on and it worked great. They turned out almost like the picture!! Very yummy and will definitely make them again!"

melonmaladroit User ID: 6608663 8227
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2012

"<p>I read several reviews before making this recipe. I noticed that one was drastically different from all the others, and commented on the batter itself and the egg-white used to make the nuts stick. I agree. The dough is VERY sticky. I make a very similar cookie with my family for the holidays every year, but they're peanut butter kisses. The batter is thicker, and we roll them into balls and roll the balls in sugar before baking. Also, I would scratch the "filling". This is similar to thin cookie icing and isn't thick enough. It runs all over the cookie. If you don't use the 'filling', don't make indentations into the balls. After they bake and cool on the sheet for a minute or two, press the chocolate kiss very lightly into the ball. It will melt deliciously and you'll get the right kind of cookie. Also, I added a tad more salt, mixed IN the nuts and added a 1/2 cup more flour. I must say, however, that because I didn't use the egg-white on the outside, I mixed it in so perhaps that had something to do with it. But when I altered the recipe they did turn out pretty delicious, especially with wheat flour!</p>"

raceywlf User ID: 3872239 6912
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"I'm so glad I found this recipe, I was amazed at how wonderful they look and taste. Be sure to cool the cookies before filling otherwise, the filling does run, and I removed them immediately after baking and cooled on a rack. I can't wait to serve them. Thanks Laura for the wonderful recipe."

raceywlf User ID: 3872239 3041
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"This is my first try at making these, and am I ever glad I found this recipe, they turn out just perfect. I had no trouble with the dough, but make sure it's chilled. As for the filling, I immediately removed the cookies to a wire rack, and let them cool, and then filled them, otherwise the filling does run. Next time I will double the recipe. Thanks Laura, this is sure a pleaser!"

sdeb User ID: 5934110 8715
Reviewed Jun. 6, 2011

"These are wonderful & worth the time it takes to make them!! The only things I changed is I didn't add the chocolate kisses & I used almond extract in the filling. MMMMMM SO GOOD!"

Elizabeth0085 User ID: 3429078 7772
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2011

"These cookies are a family favorite! We have made them every year at Christmas since I have been a little girl! You won't be dissapointed!"

Lavishlyloved User ID: 4997898 6241
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2010

"Make these every year at Christmas~ my family LOVES these! They are irresistible ~ you cannot eat just one. Yes, the dough is a little messy -not a problem with us! Mine look just like the ones pictured here -though I do add a smidge more of the filling. I've made these with other candies in the center also -yum!"

WIBaker User ID: 3842363 8225
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2009

"I made eight new cookies this Christmas (all from Taste of Home), and this is the only one I'll never make again. The dough was unbelievably sticky, even though I had chilled it well (overnight). Spooning the filling into warm cookies (per the directions) means that the frosting melts and runs over the side of the cookie (unlike the firm filling in the photo). Also, 1/4 tsp. of filling is definitely not enough to fill the thumbprint plus border the chocolate kiss as shown in the photo. And, unless your cooky sheet is WELL greased (not just "greased"), the egg white will cook onto the cooky sheet and require hard scrubbing to remove. This recipe was a major disappointment on several levels, and a waste of my time and ingredients."

Pwallask User ID: 4667941 200240
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2009

"Family FAVORITE!!! Very delicious and worth every minute!"

melodious88 User ID: 4245799 4631
Reviewed Aug. 8, 2009

"I made these cookies for a cookie contest at my husband's Air Force Base, and won first prize! Thanks!"

mums the word User ID: 1893487 7761
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2007

"This is such a pretty cookie to include on a Christmas platter. Thanks."

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