These chewy chocolate thumbprint cookies, a classic Christmas favorite, feature a dark chocolate cookie filled with chocolate ganache and topped with extra chocolate. These bakery-style cookies will melt in your mouth with chocolate goodness!

Chocolate thumbprint cookies filled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with chopped chocolate.

These double chocolate thumbprint cookies combine the rich, gooey center of chocolate-stuffed cookies with the chewy texture of chocolate sugar cookies. Their irresistible dark chocolate flavor makes them a classic Christmas favorite!

These simple yet impressive holiday cookies are the perfect choice for chocolate lovers. They are the best addition to cookie exchange boxes- alongside peppermint chip cookies, chocolate chip molasses cookies, and raspberry linzer cookies!

Why We Love Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  • Dark chocolate cookies filled with chocolate ganache! Try our lemon bar cookies for more thumbprint cookie recipes!
  • Made with dark cocoa powder- this gives them a rich and decadent chocolate flavor similar to our fudge-stuffed cookies.
  • They have a soft and chewy texture.
  • While they look fancy, these cookies are easy to make and assemble.
  • Perfect holiday cookies! We love making these at Christmastime, especially for cookie boxes!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

ingredients needed to make chocolate thumbprint cookies in bowls with labels.

Cocoa powder: For a rich chocolate flavor and dark color; we recommend using Dutch-processed cocoa powder. We use this in our chocolate s’mores cookies, too!

Dark brown sugar: The extra molasses helps keep these chocolate thumbprint cookies soft and chewy. Substitute light brown sugar if needed.

Heavy cream: This gives the chocolate ganache a rich and creamy texture. It should not be substituted with half and half, milk, or any other liquid or the ganache will not set properly.

Semisweet chocolate chips: Chocolate chips are the base of the ganache filling. If you want to use milk chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, the amount of liquid will need to be adjusted!

Find the full list of ingredients, measurements, and instructions in the recipe card below!

Variations

You can easily decorate and make these chocolate thumbprints even more festive!

  • Add a splash of peppermint extract to the chocolate ganache.
  • Sprinkle the tops of the ganache center with crushed peppermint candy canes or green and red sprinkles.
  • Roll the cookie dough in red and green sanding sugar before indenting.
  • Add a few pinches of cinnamon to the ganache and top it with a toasted mini marshmallow (think Mexican hot chocolate!).

Recipe Instructions

Butter and dark brown sugar in a mixing bowl before creaming.

Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar. In a stand mixing bowl or with an electric hand mixer, cream the unsalted butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Creamed butter and sugar with eggs and vanilla on top before mixing.

Step 2: Mix in the wet ingredients. Mix in the room temperature egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed.

Dark chocolate cookie dough in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix in the dry ingredients. Add the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to the mixing bowl and mix on low until just combined.

Chocolate cookie dough balls with indents in the centers on a baking tray.

Step 4: Scoop the cookie dough! Scoop the dough into one tablespoon-sized portions and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Use your thumb or the back of a teaspoon to indent the centers of the cookies. Chill in the freezer.

A glass bowl with chocolate chips, coffee, and heavy cream poured over the top.

Step 5: Make the chocolate ganache. Pour the hot cream over a bowl of chocolate chips and ground espresso. After a few minutes, stir to melt the chocolate. It should be silky smooth, with no chocolate chunks!

Chocolate ganache filled thumbprint cookies on a baking tray with chocolate sprinkled on the edges.

Step 6: Fill the chocolate thumbprint cookies. Bake the frozen cookies. Before they cool, re-indent the center as they puff up while baking.

Let them cool completely on a wire rack, then fill the centers with the chocolate ganache and garnish with chopped chocolate!

Tips for Perfect Thumbprint Cookies

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Straight out of the oven, use a round cutter to scoot the edges of the cookies to make them perfectly round.
  • Do not fill the cookies while they are warm or the ganache will melt and spill out of the centers.
  • Underbake the cookies: You should remove them from the oven when the edges are just set but the centers are still underbaked. This keeps them soft and chewy!
  • Use high-quality chocolate for a rich bakery-style flavor (like our mocha brownie cookies!)

FAQs

Do I have to chill the dough?

Yes! This is critical for maintaining their shape. If the dough isn’t chilled properly, it will spread in the oven.

How do I keep my cookies from cracking?

This dough is pretty soft so you shouldn’t have this problem. If they are cracking when indenting them, there may be too much flour in the dough.

Do you fill thumbprints before or after baking?

You will fill them after baking!

Why did my chocolate thumbprint cookies spread?

Incorrectly measuring flour, overly warm butter, and low oven temperature can cause the cookies to spread too much while baking.

How do you store chocolate thumbprint cookies?

Store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag for 2-3 days at room temperature.

Can they be frozen?

You can store the frozen cookie dough balls in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.

A stack of thumbprint cookies with a bite taken out of the top one to show the gooey ganache center.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes

If you make this recipe, let me know how it went in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

Chocolate thumbprint cookies filled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with finely chopped chocolate.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 7 votes
– by Cambrea Gordon

These chewy chocolate thumbprint cookies, a classic Christmas favorite, feature a rich dark chocolate cookie filled with ganache and topped with extra chocolate. These bakery-style cookies will melt in your mouth with chocolate goodness!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 27 cookies

Equipment

  • one-tablespoon cookie scoop
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, *See notes below for measuring*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp ground espresso, optional
  • finely chopped chocolate bar, for topping

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
    1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar
  • Mix in the wet ingredients. Then mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
    1 (50 g) large egg, 1 (18 g) large egg yolk, 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mix in the dry ingredients. Mix in the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder until just combined.
    1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Scoop the cookie dough. Scoop the cookie dough into one tablespoon-sized portions, then roll them between your hands to make them round. Place them on a parchment-lined baking tray with some room in between each.
  • Indent the centers of the cookies. Indent the centers with the round back of a teaspoon or by sticking your thumb straight down into the center. Chill the tray of thumbprint cookies in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until frozen solid. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
  • Bake the cookies. Bake the frozen chocolate thumbprints spaced 1 1/2-2 inches apart for 7-9 minutes. Right out of the oven, use a small round cookie cutter to scoot the edges of the cookies to make them perfectly round. Then reindent the centers (they will puff up some while baking). Let the tray cool on a wire cooling rack while you make the ganache.
  • Make the chocolate ganache. Heat the cream and espresso (if using) in a pot or the microwave then pour it over the chocolate chips. Let them sit for 1-2 minutes, then stir to emulsify the ganache. It should be smooth and silky with no chocolate chunks!
    1/3 cup (62 g) heavy cream, 2/3 cup (109 g) dark chocolate chips, 1 tsp ground espresso
  • Fill the thumbprints. Fill the center of the cookies with the chocolate ganache. Sprinkle finely chopped chocolate on the edges if desired and enjoy!
    finely chopped chocolate bar
  • Store the baked cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag for 2-3 days at room temperature. You can store the frozen cookie dough balls in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Measure your flour properly. This is my #1 baking tip! Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour as this always leads to using too much flour. Instead, use the spoon-level method. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. For the BEST results, use a kitchen scale!*
Do not fill the cookies while they are warm or the ganache will melt and spill out of the centers!
Underbake the cookies: You should remove them from the oven when the edges are just set but the centers are still underbaked. This keeps them soft and chewy!
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. Adelaide Miller says:

    These are pretty good. The dough almost has that dry, floury taste that chocolate things can get, but the ganache still made it worth it. Still not an over-the-top recipe, but a good basic nonetheless. I made the ganache with instant coffee powder that I sprinkled over the chocolate chips before pouring heavy cream over. I also added vanilla after stirring it up. I used my 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop and came out with about 25 cookies. I sprinkled Christmas sprinkles on after filling the thumbprints with ganache and it ended up being super cute and festive. I did make the thumbprints with a 1/2 teaspoon measure, and I had to re-dust it in cocoa powder after pressing each cookie to keep it from sticking. I also had to re-indent after coming out of the oven. I did find the dough to be very wet and sticky, and I couldn’t roll it in my hands because of it. I did use weight measurements for this recipe to keep it accurate, so I’m not sure what the problem was there. Overall, a decent recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Adelaide! I would double check that you are using true room temperature butter (64-68F), butter that is too warm would make the dough stickier to work with!

  2. THIS ARE AMAZING! They taste almost like a brownie with a smooth rich filling. I love this recipe!5 stars

  3. These were SOOOO good! I made the lemon bar cookies first and knew I had to make these next. My whole family devoured them immediately!5 stars

  4. Great job with putting this recipe together.

  5. Great job with putting this recipe together.5 stars