Chocolate thumbprint cookies are a fun twist on these traditional holiday cookies. Thumbprint cookies are filled with melted chocolate and topped with crushed peppermint pieces for a sweet and festive chocolate peppermint cookie.
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Jam thumbprint cookies are a classic Christmas cookie. In this thumbprint cookie recipe the jam is replaced with chocolate. Yum!
Buttery shortbread combines with rich chocolate and peppermint for an amazing combination of flavors that is perfect for Christmas.
Why You Will Love Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- These cookies are simple but delicious.
- The chocolate filling for these cookies is made just by melting chocolate chips, not by making a complicated chocolate ganache.
- Use your favorite kind of chocolate – milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate – whatever you like best.
- Top the chocolate off with peppermint or nuts for an even tastier cookie.
- These cookies are perfect for family baking so you can get kids involved in cooking. Rolling dough balls and crushing candy canes are always fun for kids.
- This is a fun twist on a classic holiday cookie recipe.
- Butter – Either salted or unsalted butter works in this recipe. Get the butter out of the refrigerator so it is at room temperature before mixing the cookies.
- Sugar – These cookies use white granulate sugar.
- Peppermint extract or vanilla extract – Use vanilla extract for a classic thumbprint cookie taste, or use peppermint extract to go along with the candy cane topping.
- Baking soda
- Chocolate chips – Any kind of chocolate chips will work fine in this recipe. For these pictures I made one cookie sheet full of white chocolate filled cookies and one with semisweet chocolate filled cookies. Dark chocolate would also be delicious!
- Candy canes – I make the peppermint topping by crushing a few candy canes. You can also buy peppermint chips if you prefer.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Cream the Butter and Sugar
Add the butter and sugar to a mixer bowl and mix it on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until it is well combined. Then add the egg and vanilla to the mixer and beat until everything is fully incorporated.
2. Add the Flour
In another bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Then put the mixer on low speed and gradually add the flour to the mixer bowl. Mix until everything is combined.
3. Chill the Dough
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The dough should chill for at least 1 hour and can stay in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
4. Bake the Cookies
When you are ready to bake the cookies prepare baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Preheat the oven.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and form it into 1 inch balls by rolling it between your hands. Then place the balls on a cookie sheet, leaving space between them.
Once the cookie sheet is full make an indentation in the balls using your thumb or a round teaspoon. Press down gently to make a well in the cookie.
Jam thumbprint cookies are filled before baking, but these cookies are filled after baking. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.
When the cookies are done take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. I prefer to fill them with chocolate while they are cooling, although you could let them cool completely.
5. Fill the Cookies
To make the peppermint topping for the cookies put a couple candy canes in a zipper plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the candy canes and make peppermint chips.
Once the cookies are cool put the chocolate chips in a plastic bag. Microwave the bag for 30 seconds and then knead it to melt the chocolate.
Once the chocolate is melted snip a corner off the bag with scissors. Squeeze the melted chocolate into the indentation in the cookies.
Then sprinkle crushed candy cane on top. Move the cookies from the baking sheets to wire racks so the they can finish cooling.
How to Serve
The chocolate will harden at room temperature in an hour or so. These cookies are delicious either after the chocolate has harden or while it is still a little warm.
The cookie dough is buttery and soft and combines with the chocolate and peppermint for a cookie that has all the best Christmas time flavors. The peppermint flavor in these cookies is not overwhelming but adds just a bit to the taste.
It is really easy to make one batch of cookies look varied and different with this recipe. So you can add variety to your holiday cookie plate without much extra work.
I filled half the cookies with white chocolate and half with semisweet chocolate. You could vary things up even more by using dark chocolate chips or butterscotch chips.
I have also filled these cookies with Nutella in the past. That tastes good, but the Nutella doesn’t harden so it makes it more difficult to stack the cookies.
Another way to change things up is to change the topping on the chocolate thumbprint cookies. Here are some delicious ways to finish off these cookies.
- Don’t use any topping. Chocolate by itself is enough.
- Use nuts instead of candy canes. Walnuts, pecans and almonds would all taste amazing chopped up and scattered on the chocolate.
- Sprinkle mini M&Ms on top of the chocolate filling.
- Dust some powdered sugar on top of the cookies for a wintery snow covered look.
- Colored sprinkles are always a good way to make cookies sparkle for Christmas.
How to Store
Keep these cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for 3-5 days. You can freeze these cookies for 1-2 months.
Occasionally freezing chocolate affects the way it looks, because it develops a sugar bloom that makes it look white. So this could happen to the chocolate filling in these cookies.
But even if does happen they will still taste good and be fine to eat. The white film is just sugar that has crystallized on the surface of the chocolate.
If you are going freeze them separate the layers of cookies with waxed paper in a freezer container or freezer bag and try to keep them flat.
Find More Holiday Cookies
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or vanilla extract)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips - white chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, dark chocolate or whatever you like
- 2 candy canes, crushed
- Put the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, stopping as necessary to scrape the bowl. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the mixer bowl and beat again for 1 minute, until everything is well combined.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt and stir to mix. Put the mixer on low speed and slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
- Chill the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Then refrigerate it for at least one hour or as much as 24 hours.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350 F. Put parchment paper or silicone baking mats on your baking sheets.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and put them on the cookie sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each ball. Use your thumb or a rounded teaspoon to make a well in the center of each cookie.
- Do not fill the indent in the cookies until they have baked and cooled.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking crush the candy canes by putting them in a plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then fill them with the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a plastic zippered bag. Microwave the bag with the chips in it for 30 seconds, then take it out and knead it to mix. If it is not quite melted enough put it back in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, until the chocolate is melted.
- Snip off one corner of the bag and use the chocolate to fill the wells in the cookies. Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces on top of the chocolate.
- Move the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling and let the chocolate harden.
- Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.
Use peppermint extract to emphasize the peppermint flavor or substitute vanilla extract if you prefer.
Other than crushed candy canes possible toppings include nuts, sprinkles, mini M&Ms or powdered sugar.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are estimates.