Reminiscent of the first thumbprint cookies I’ve ever made, these little bundles of chocolate and creamy ganache were delicious and elegant enough for a dessert party yet still perfect for everyday consumption, as well. The base of the cookie is a dense, chewy brownie and is filled with a silky ganache made from honey, vanilla, cream and of course, chocolate. A fun, different and very delicious cookie that had me trying to exercise all my self-control and not inhale the entire batch.

Chocolate Thumbprints

Yield: Martha’s recipe insists this makes 90 cookies. Really, Martha? Are you sure this was tested? I rolled the cookies quite small and still only came out with about 36-40

Chocolate Thumbprints


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Ganache
  • Chocolate Vanilla Ganache:
  • Makes about 1 cup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined. The dough will appear quite dry but will come together when you start rolling it into little balls.
  2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, and roll each ball in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets. Using teaspoon measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers lightly again with the teaspoon measure.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.
  3. For the Ganache: Combine honey, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring until honey dissolves. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Place chocolate in a small bowl. Pour cream mixture over chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Add butter, and continue to stir incorporated. Let cool slightly, and then use immediately.
  5. Spoon warm ganache into center of each cookie. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart

19 Responses to Chocolate Thumbprints

  1. Anissa says:

    I made these last night and got 90 cookies. I made them exactly 2 tsp sized balls, so maybe that’s why?
    They are good. The honey in the ganache is totally different, which I wasn’t really expecting. I think if I made them again I’d do a more traditional ganache without honey.

  2. joy says:

    just made these today, i used dark chocolate cause that is all I have and it taste so amazing. I substituted Hersheys Drops for the ganache. Next time i”ll try these with
    the ganache. thanks for sharing.

  3. Jnl2211 says:

    Actually, Dutch process is less intense in flavor but more intense in color. They add an alkalizer so it isn’t as acidic. I LOVE Hershey’s special dark!! I have my fancy schmancy cocoa too, but for everyday use I use HSD.

  4. Deb says:

    These are amazing! I love the texture of the shell that the rolled sugar creates and I love that there’s a noticeable saltiness due to the 2 full teaspoons of salt in a recipe this size. The ganache center is divine. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jennifer Smith says:

    These are delicious! I substituted Hershey’s kisses for the ganache because they are going to A second grade class…they would not appreciate ganache. Thank you!

  6. grace says:

    yeah, i’ll take your brownie-like cookie, especially is some silky ganache is part of the package! very nice, melanie!

  7. April J. says:

    I just finished making these. They are delicious, but I used dutch cocoa which I think is a little too stong and so this recipe would use less. If you are familiar with a conversion I would appreciate it. I have lots of this cocoa and am not sure how to use it.

  8. Sara says:

    These look amazing! I have made a similar recipe before, but it also involved peanut butter.

  9. Shelley says:

    I find that Martha’s recipes are often generous with the quantities! Particularly dessert recipes. They usually make half of what was promised.

  10. Bunny says:

    I’ve never made thumbprints, these look fantastic. What a great little cookie!

  11. Melanie says:

    April J. – to be honest, I’m not really familiar with how cocoa differs, I usually just use what I have on hand (sometimes dutch process sometimes not). I’ll have to google a bit more about cocoas to see what I can find out.

  12. Crafty P says:

    mmmm…. now there is something I ONLY need to look at for awhile. I just finished up a few turtle thumbprints that I found stashed in my freezer the other day. must. not. eat. cookies!

  13. Mary says:

    very nice!

  14. teresa says:

    Chocolate heaven!

  15. Melody says:

    These look so good. I would much rather have these than a fruit filled thumbprint cookie. Chocolate all the way! Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Melanie Anne says:

    Wow–I think of thumbprint cookies as a little (not so great) treat for preschoolers–not these ones!! Those look decadent and sophisticated! Yum–I wish I could try one now! I will definetly have to make these!! Thanks Mel!

  17. AmandaS says:

    You seriously must have incredible self control! I would weight 800 lbs if I made these. Yum, yum, yum!!!

  18. Abby says:

    Honey! I love the sound of that. That silky ganache looks incredible.

  19. Jen says:

    Very nice-looking! I love choco cookies!

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