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Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

February 10, 2012

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel 8

Most people know from an early age whether they belong in the ‘sweet’ or ‘salty’ group. Not me. Although everyone can testify of my sugary tendencies, I’ve always held a special place for salty snacks, almost to an equal measure. Being a Libra, I can’t make up my mind most times so compromises are usually a godsend! This is where the ‘salty-sweet’ category comes in…

Mixing salt with something sweet always yield an explosive result that is so much more than the sum of its parts. I recently found myself weeping over the last few Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels from Trader Joe’s that had been my salvation over the Holidays. As I know they won’t be available again until next Thanksgiving, I had to find a replacement, and quick! That is when I stumble upon this Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel recipe – I was saved!

Sweet, simple, and unexpected in their flavor, these thumbprint cookies offer an amazing texture with the buttery base, crunchy coconut topping, and soft caramel center. You’re in for a treat. Don’t forget to sprinkle large sea salt flakes all over the top, it just wouldn’t be the same without it. These are some of my favorite cookies of all time – the ‘sweet & salty’ group totally wins… Now I’m getting all my cravings filled in one delicious bite!

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel


Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine
Active time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 45 min.
Makes 50 cookies

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
Table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
44 small soft caramel candies (12 oz), such as Kraft
6 tablespoons heavy cream
Large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat together butter and sugar  with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and ½ teaspoon salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap…

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

…then roll into 1¼-ich balls.

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut.

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press an indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove sheets from oven, and re-press indentations. Bake cookies until golden, 9 to 10 minutes more. Let cool on wire racks.

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes.

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled.

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
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  • Favorite coworker February 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Sorry Sandra, but this will definitely be a recipe that I break out to impress friends and family…and I just may take all of the credit. These little morsels were AMAZING!

    • Sandra February 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Credit where credit is due… 😉 Just make sure you bring some back to the office!

  • Lucy February 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    These look so good! Have bookmarked the recipe and can’t wait to give them a go – I have a feeling I’ll find them very tricky to resist.

    • Sandra February 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Tricky? Try impossible! :) Let me know how you get on!

  • chanel February 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Best cookie’s ever!!!! Super easy.

  • Megan February 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Do you contribute to the Martha Stewart Magazine? This recipe was in their February issue…

    • Sandra February 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      I wish I did! Yes, this recipe is from Martha Stewart Living Magazine as indicated above, I have a stack full of them!

  • Sara March 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I LOVE that you’ve taken pictures along the way. Very nice format to follow. Thanks!

    • Sandra March 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Thank you! I feel pictures really do help, at least as far as benchmark goes for a recipe! Wish more cookbooks were done that way…

  • Trisha Zona March 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I was immediately drawn to this recipe and am entering it in a cookie baking contest at work tomorrow!! I will let you know how they rate!