Have you ever accidentally eaten like 12 cookies? You know, you eat like half of one…then you go back for the other half. Then you do that like 11 more times… don’t judge me; these cookies are teensy tiny. And once you’ve made these turtle thumbprint cookies you’ll see how easy it is to inhale these bite sized, chocolate cookies filled with caramel.
I have zero regrets about eating 12. I’d do it again quite frankly.
What are Turtle Thumbprint Cookies?
You’ve probably had a classic thumbprint cookie around Christmas time at at least some point in your life. Thumbprints are traditionally a buttery, shortbread cookie filled with jam or chocolate. They get their name because the filling is placed into a thumbprint sized indentation in each cookie.
And thumbprint cookies are…okay. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not terrible, but they’re definitely not my first choice at the cookie table.
I don’t know about you guys, but during the holiday season I’m looking for knock your socks off good cookies. Not crumbly, dry cookies filled with jam.
Give this girl some chocolate.
We took the classic formula for a thumbprint with one of our favorite Christmas flavors to make these turtle thumbprint cookies. The cookie part is made from our favorite chocolate cookies (they taste like BROWNIES), rolled in toasted and finely chopped pecans. Fill them up with soft caramel and you’ve got yourself a bite sized thumbprint that tastes pretty much like a caramel turtle brownie.
So like rulllllly güd.
How to store turtle thumbprint cookies.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions this cookie week on how to make all these Christmas cookies ahead of time, and we hear you. Holiday baking can get seriously overwhelming, so it’s a great idea to get ahead where you can.
These turtle thumbprints travel very well and are easily made in advance. They’ll keep on the counter in a cookie tin for about a week or you can freeze them for up to a month. They’re also a pretty sturdy cookie that travels well, so they’re perfect for sharing or mailing to loved ones!
We won’t tell anyone if you don’t share annnnny of these turtle thumbprints.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
In a separate bowl stir together the salt, cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
Using a teaspoon scoop out rounded teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll the cookie dough balls in the toasted and finely chopped pecans until fully coated. Place balls an inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Press your finger into each ball, making a hole in the middle. Bake for 9 minutes or until set on the edges. If the thumbprint has disappeared while baking, repress the cookies after they come out of the oven. Transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are cooling, unwrap the caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring periodically to make sure they don’t burn, until the caramels are fully melted. Transfer the melted caramel to a pipping bag.
Pipe a dollop of caramel into each thumbprint, allow to cool and eat!