Use Salted Caramel In Your Thumbprint Cookies For A Richer Treat

Who doesn't love thumbprint cookies, a beloved classic traditionally filled with a sweet, tarty, and fruity jam center? While difficult to top, imagine taking this classic cookie to the next level of indulgence by substituting the jammy center with salted caramel. Why salted caramel? Well, salted caramel offers a rich, luxurious dimension. It is buttery and simultaneously sweet and savory, making it a balanced, sophisticated, and irresistible addition to thumbprint cookies.

Jessica Morone, a recipe developer for Tasting Table, embraced this innovative approach in her salted caramel ginger thumbprint cookies recipe. The salted caramel enhances the taste of thumbprint cookies and lends a unique texture, differentiating them from their jam-filled counterparts. Unlike jam, which can be somewhat sticky and runny, this salted caramel filling, especially when combined with white chocolate as in Morone's recipe, sets firmly, making these cookies more durable, easy to stack upon each other, and more accessible to transport. As Morone notes, this feature is particularly advantageous for holiday cookie exchanges or thoughtful homemade gifts.

We recommend making salted caramel instead of jam in your next thumbprint cookie recipe. First, melt granulated and brown sugar in a saucepan, then stir in salted butter, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and white chocolate chips until smooth. Spoon the warm caramel into the thumbprint indents of the cookies and let it set for about 10 minutes before serving. As a finishing touch, feel free to garnish with sea salt flakes.

When salted caramel meets spiced cookie dough

The salted caramel center derives its savoriness from salted butter. You can mix miso or salt with unsalted butter to achieve the savory effect if you don't have salted butter. And while you can incorporate this salted caramel filling into any thumbprint cookie recipe, note Jessica Morone's Salted Caramel Ginger Thumbprint Cookies recipe goes further by integrating additional flavor components and spices into the cookie dough, like ginger, molasses, and nutmeg. These ingredients will infuse your thumbprint cookies with warmth, depth, and a spicy aroma, complementing the creamy, salted caramel filling well. The spices also add a festive touch, making these cookies perfect for the holidays and enjoyable any day. For those who want to experiment, consider other spices, like cinnamon or cardamom. 

When you make thumbprint cookies with a salted caramel filling, the whole experience is delightful, from preparing the spiced dough to crafting the homemade salted caramel filling. The result is a batch of visually appealing and deliciously layered cookies. So, consider replacing the traditional jam with salted caramel next time you make thumbprint cookies.