May 22, 2024

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

I am a huge fan of food and desserts which combine both sweet and salty tastes together -- these thumbprint cookies are no different. For a more decadent, grown-up Christmas cookie, look no further.

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

Serving Approx. 4 dozen cookies



  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract, optional
  • 3 c (12 oz) Better Batter All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 bag (about 11 ounces) soft caramel candies, I use caramel bits from the baking aisle
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp large flake sea salt


Make the Cookie Dough. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.


Beat in vanilla and salt, and optional coconut extract. Then, with the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and beat until just combined.


Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least three hours or up to overnight.


Preheat and Prepare. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 


Place. In one small bowl place the lightly beaten eggs and in another small bowl, place the coconut.


Roll. Using your hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. An optional step is to refrigerate the dough balls once more for about 10-15 minutes if they have softened significantly when getting rolled out. This helps minimize spreading during baking time.


Dip and Place. Next, dip each ball first in the egg, then roll in the coconut. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.


Bake. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and press an indentation into each ball with your thumb, finger, or back of a round butter knife handle. Return the cookies to the oven and for an additional 10 minutes or until the cookies and coconut are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and immediately re-press indentation; centers may still be slightly under baked. While these cookies cool, use a butter knife to gently push them back together if they have spread at all.


Cooling. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls.


Make the Caramel Sauce. Place the unwrapped caramels (or use caramel baking bits) and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and slowly heat, over 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring often.


Spoon the caramel sauce into the cookie indentations. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Let caramel sauce set up before storing in an airtight container for up to one week. 


Adapted from Inspired By Charm