four salted caramel thumbprint cookies on a table with one having a bite out of it and a bowl of caramel sitting in the background

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Jennifer
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


Brighten your holiday platter with these delicious and buttery salted caramel thumbprint cookies. Soft buttery cookies filled with rich caramel and topped with a hint of sea salt.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter – divided
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar – divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract – divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 11 oz bag Kraft caramels
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Soften 1 cup of the unsalted butter at room temperature in your stand mixer bowl. Once softened, beat the butter and 2/3 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Continue beating and add in the egg yolks and vanilla. Once combined, add in the flour and salt and reduce speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough thickens and is well-combined.
  4. Using your hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and place onto a lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, press down into the center of the ball creating a small indention in the dough.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes, then open the oven and using the backside of a teaspoon, press down on the indention once again. Back for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  6. Once finished baking, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. For the caramel sauce, add the caramels and the heavy cream to a saucepan and melt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Continue stirring until the caramel is completely melted and smooth.
  8. Using a teaspoon, fill each cookie with 1 teaspoon of caramel. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.


  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: thumbprint cookie, salted caramel, holiday baking