There is no way you are eating just one - these two-bite Gingerbread Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are incredibly addictive! Gingerbread spices flavor a simple chocolate cookie dough that is shaped and filled with thick dulce de leche. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt finishes them off.
Looking for a twist on a classic? Add these to modernize your traditional cookie box this year!
If you are making cookies by the dozen this holiday season, then you’ll need to add an easy recipe like this to your baking line-up. They come together fast and make a ton.
These cookies start with a very simple chocolate cookie dough. The cookies themselves are soft and chewy with just enough crisp on the outside to hold their signature shape. Cinnamon and ginger pair perfectly with dark cocoa powder. There is just enough spice to make them feel festive.
Using store-bought dulce de leche means these simple cookies come together very quickly. If you can’t source any prepared dulce de leche, try cooking down a can of sweetened condensed milk in a slow cooker or pot of boiling water until its thick, caramelized, and golden. I promise, if a little caramel gets on the bottom after being after being stacked and plated, it’s totally fine.
This recipe was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The original called for the dough to be chilled before baking, but I did not find that necessary. Using a cold egg helps prevent needing this extra step.
If the dough is too sticky to shape, then try popping it into the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes.
If the cookies lose their shape during baking, reenforce the little bowl shape with the back of a wooden spoon just after they come out of the oven - before they cool.
Store cookies in an air-tight container (a box with a lid is better than a zip-top bag) at room temperature for up to a few days.
Gingerbread Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
makes about 3 dozen
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons all-spice
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, cold
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoon molasses
Thick Dulce de Leche (I used Bonne Maman)
Flaky Salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric stand or hand mixer, mix the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown and white sugars and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.
Add the cold egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is okay if the cold egg makes the batter appear curdled at this time (using a cold egg will eliminate having to chill the dough later).
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add the molasses and keep mixing until the dough comes together. It will be very thick.
Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll into smooth balls. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet, about an inch apart. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke hole in the tops of all of the cookies balls. The hole should nearly reach the baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 11 to 14 minutes, until set around the edges but still soft in the centers. Remove the cookies and use the spoon handle again to emphasize any holes in the cookie centers that may have puffed up during baking.
Allow the cookies to cool on their baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack.
To add the dulce de leche centers, use a piping bag or a plastic zip-top bag with the corner snipped. Squeeze the thick caramel into the centers of the cooled cookies and top with flaky salt.