cookies/ fall desserts/ holiday treats

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

These homemade chocolate thumbprint cookies are an elevated twist on the more traditional thumbprint cookie where you roll it into a ball and make an indent into the center with your thumb or teaspoon. These simple, yet sophisticated cookies are a great treat to make for a family party, book club night, or just for you and your special someone. No matter the reason, these cookies are super good, chocolatey, and so soft. Pick a favorite jam or chocolate filling to add after you bake them, or you can choose to fill some with Nutella and strawberry jam, like I did!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC
Homemade Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC

I usually associate these chocolate thumbprint cookies with Christmas time, but I decided to make them anyway because I really just wanted a reason to use the thumbprint cookie stamp set I got from Williams Sonoma. ha! Thumbprint cookies are a favorite of mine in general since I was a kid. And for this recipe, I didn’t add anything red and green to them, so they don’t really look like a Christmas cookie. Are there certain cookies you associate with different holidays or times of the year? Would thumbprints fall under Christmas for you too?

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC

quick tips for how to use cookie stamps

  • I used the Williams Sonoma Thumbprint Cookie Stamp Set for this recipe.
  • You can also give this thumbprint circle or rectangle cookie stamp a try as well or you can go the old fashion route and roll the dough into small 1- to 1 1/2-inch balls, then press your finger into the center to create a cavity for where the jam or nutella will go.
  • Chill the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling it out. I found it to be easier to work with when using the stamps. My preference – chilling the dough overnight covered.
  • If you do chill the chocolate thumbprint cookie dough chill overnight, let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Lightly flour the surface and your rolling pin before rolling out the dough.
  • If you need to add more flour as you roll out the cookie dough or for the stamps, that’s okay. The flour will bake off.
  • These thumbprint cookie stamps work well when the dough is rolled out thick. Williams Sonoma recommends 1/4″, but I found they need to be a little thicker than this.
  • Lightly flour the thumbprint cookie stamps.
  • After stamping out the cookies, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes. While one set of cookies is baking, you can have another set in the fridge/freezer cooling. Doing this step, helps to keep the details of the cookie.
  • When filling the cookies after baking, I found it easier to pipe the filling into the centers using a piping bag instead of using a spoon.

recommended baking tools for making homemade chocolate thumbprint cookies

KITCHENAID KP26M1XFL Professional 600 Stand Mixers, 6 quart, Matte Fresh Linen
KitchenAid KHM926CA 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Turbo Beater II Accessories and Pro Whisk
Geometric Mini Cookie Cutters Set
Set of 6 Christmas Themed Mini Cookie Cutters
Pusheen Cookie Jar
Thumbprint Rectangle Cookie Cutter
Thumprint Circle Cookie Cutter
Nordic Ware Quarter Sheet Pan, 2-Pack
Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat (Set of 2)
OXO Good Grips 11 Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display
Sabatier 5154549 Triple Rivet Wide Turner, Black
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin
Nordic Ware 43174 3 Piece Baker’s Delight Set, Aluminum
Nordic Ware Geo Cast Cookie Stamps
Wilton Master Decorating Tip Set, 55-Piece decorating tips, Cake Decorating Supplies
Wilton Color Right Performance Coloring System
Ateco 7803 Plain Edge Large Number Cutters (0-9), 3″ high, Stainless Steel, 10 Pc Set
Ateco 6950 Plain Edge Large Alphabet Cutters (A – Z), 3″ high, Stainless Steel, 26 Pc Set
Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour, 16 oz.
Ateco 5457 Plain Edge Round Cutters in Graduated Sizes, Stainless Steel, 12 Pc Set
GIR: Get It Right All Silicone Mini, Skinny & Ultimate Spatula 3 Pc Set
Williams Sonoma Thumbprint Cookie Stamp Set
OXO International Medium Cookie Scoop
Pouring Chute
Anchor Hocking 10pc Glass Mixing Bowl Set
Joseph Joseph Shake-It Self-Tapping Sieve, Large
USA Large Cookie Sheet
The Smart Baker Half Sheet 13 x 18 inches Perfect Parchment Paper – Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Baking Sheets
Cooling Rack Stainless Steel Half size – Commercial Grade Steel 11.5″ x 16.5″ | 1 Piece | Cooking Rack Designed To Fit Perfectly Into Baking Half Sheet Pan | Only From Indigo True Company
Fox Run 4254 Kitchen Timer with Magnet 55-Minute
Homemade Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC

give these other Beyond the Butter cookie recipes a try!

Or visit the Cookies section of My Recipe Box to see them all!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: Jennifer
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes (does not include cooling or piping time)
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Approx. 36 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert


These homemade Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are an elevated twist on the classic using the Williams Sonoma thumbprint cookie stamp set. These soft and chocolatey cookies are simple, yet sophisticated making them a great treat to make for a family party, book club night, or just for you and that someone special.



  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk (not the entire egg)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Nutella and/or Jam of your choice

recipe also used


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar until well blended. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  3. Switching the mixer speed to low, gradually add in your dry ingredients, then mix until well blended.
  4. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour in the refrigerator. You can, alternatively, chill the dough overnight as well. If you choose this option, you may want to shape the dough into discs, like you would for pie crust, so it’s easier to roll out the next day. When ready to bake, bring the dough out to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. 
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough (1/2″-5/8″ thickness) onto a floured surface. Using the lightly floured cookie stamps, stamp out each cookie and place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. For a well-defined cookie shape, I recommended chilling the cookies in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before placing in the oven to bake.
  7. Once chilled, bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (my oven did well at 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Once cooled, add in either (or both) the Nutella or jam (I used strawberry).
  9. If you’re filling the thumbprint cookies with jam, heat the jam up in a small saucepan over low heat for a few minutes before adding it to the cookies. Another alternative is to pipe the jam cold into each cookie.
  10. If you’re filling the thumbprint cookies with Nutella, you can fill each cookie using a piping bag or ziplock bag with the tip snipped off.
  11. Store the baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. If needed, you can add layers of wax paper in between layers.


Recipe adapted from my late-Grammy’s Jamboree Cookie recipe and the Washington Post.

Keywords: thumbprint cookies, chocolate thumbprint cookies, cookies, chocolate, fall desserts, fall recipes, williams sonoma, thumbprint cookie stamp set

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  • Reply
    sheenam |
    September 29, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    Oh these cookies look amazing!!! Yummy.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2018 at 3:01 PM

    This recipe is great! I love that the cookie has enough salt that you can subtly taste it, and is not overly sweet! It perfectly compliments the nutella/jam in the middle. The first night I made this, I used only enough to make a few cookies, but my husband and I loved them so much that I had to make more the next day! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 12, 2018 at 3:47 PM

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear you and your husband loved them, Kaylynn! Thank you so much for the feedback too! Have a good weekend!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 8:17 PM

    I just bought these stamps and I’m so excited to test them out. And yes….thumbprint cookies = Christmas cookies. But so good anytime of year.

    • Reply
      September 13, 2019 at 9:08 PM

      Totally agree! So glad you got them! I love using them and actually need to make some more soon because my husband is obsessed with these cookies! ☺️ If you have any questions about using them, shoot me an email or a DM over on Instagram. And if you take any pics and/or post them to your social feeds send them my way so I can share!

  • Reply
    Ann Stoller
    February 11, 2020 at 1:49 AM

    I, too, used the WS molds when I make thumbprint cookies. I love the effect; so professional looking. I tried your recipe and it worked great—tastes good, too. My cookies turned out a darker color than yours though. I like the lighter brown shade. What brand of cocoa powder did you use? Thank you.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2020 at 5:39 PM

      I’m so glad you loved them! Aren’t the WS stamps awesome? For this recipe, I believe I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder. I’ve also used Ghirardelli’s as well and like both of them!

  • Reply
    Maria Newcomer
    February 13, 2020 at 10:17 PM

    I bought the stamps and then found this recipe. These are sooooooo good. I have always loved butter cookies and did not realize how much I would love a chocolate version.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2020 at 5:39 PM

      I’m so happy to hear you loved them, Maria! Thank you for making them!

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