Caramel Apple Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes


For the cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup finely chopped apples (about 1 medium apple)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup store-bought caramel sauce, warmed slightly


  • Make the cookie dough: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Combine dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Chill the dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours) to make it easier to roll.
  • Prepare the filling: While the dough is chilling, prepare the apple filling. In a small bowl, combine the chopped apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  • Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Shape the cookies: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and form it into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets and use your thumb or the back of a small spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  • Fill the cookies: Spoon the apple filling into the indentations of each cookie.
  • Bake: Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  • Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Add the caramel: Once cooled, drizzle the warmed caramel sauce over the cookies.


  • Softened Butter: For the best texture, ensure your butter is softened but not melted.
  • Fresh Apples: Use a crisp, tart apple variety like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp for the filling.
  • Adjust Caramel: You can use more or less caramel depending on your sweetness preference.
  • Optional Topping: Sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt on top of the caramel for a sweet-salty twist.

Enjoy your delightful Caramel Apple Thumbprint Cookies!


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