recipe || coconut thumbprint cookies with salted caramel

I stumbled upon this delicious recipe whilst browsing an old Martha Stewart Living magazine from February 2012. Good thing I did! I found it just in time to make it for Asa’s birthday. These cookies were a hit with EVERYONE!

Coming from someone who has limited skills in the kitchen (they are slowly getting better), I was able to make these all on my own without much difficulty. And like I said, they turned out great because everyone who tasted them commented on how good they were.

So here ya go! The recipe…


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (hint: if you cannot get the butter to room temp on time, or want to speed the process, put the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds and turn a quarter turn every 5 seconds. I learned that little tip from Martha, too 😉 )
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla (we don’t own a mixer, so I mixed by hand and it still turned out fine). With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and beat to combine. Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. 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. Repeat with remaining dough.
  2. 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. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled. (Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days).

We paired the cookies with a scoop of our favorite vanilla ice cream which was a great addition. Oh, and if you have any leftover caramel, use it for an ice cream topping or a homemade latte!

Happy baking!

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