New This Month

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel


A clever blend of coconut and salt caramels combines in these delicious cookies for just the right amount of sweet, simple, and unexpected.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 54

Photography: Emily Kate Roemer

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2012


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 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 ounces), such as Kraft
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll 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.

Cook's Notes

Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • maritagstreet
    9 JUL, 2017
    I made it but I use werthers candy and my daughter and I like it very much.
  • LisaBanninga
    22 MAR, 2015
    Made these for a church function and everyone raved about them. I'm back on the site to get the recipe to pass out to other church mambers.
  • iluvmyluci
    14 DEC, 2014
    I'm sorry but these were horrible! I threw them all out, what a waste of ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly and they were falling apart, super dry, and not nearly sweet enough. The second batch I cooked for a little less time, and they were still bad. :(
  • MS112587500
    7 DEC, 2013
    A favorite holiday cookie now. Basic shortbread dough, egg wash, coconut roll, and thumbprint (x2) - plan on an assembly line and keep going. The caramel cream was simple to make and clean up. Roll smaller balls to make more cookies than stated. Decadent and impressive to serve, too.
  • angobanjo
    4 MAR, 2013
    I added a little egg and it seemed to work but just using a shortbread cookie recipe would probably work. It's worth it because these cookies draw raves.
  • hadriabeth
    27 DEC, 2012
    Made these as Christmas cookies for my fiance who loves salted caramel and coconut. He says hands down the BEST cookies he's ever eaten. I have to agree, they are phenomenal. My family all loved them too. My only complaint would be there are so many steps, they take quite a bit of time to make. But worth the time! Great recipe!!
  • Angela Z
    21 DEC, 2012
    These are so decadent and delicious! Based on previous reviews, I held back a little of the flour and that fixed the 'falling apart' issue, in my opinion. If handling the very buttery dough is difficult, wrap it in some plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge after it comes out of your mixer. So many compliments on these cookies this year! Worth the effort.
  • M029
    7 MAR, 2012
    These cookies looked so beautiful on the cover so I just had to try them. Biggest problem the dough did not want to hold together. Can't figure out what I did wrong. I double checked the receipt and can't find that I missed any steps. Even though the were tasty
  • marthazayko
    1 MAR, 2012
    I have to admit I jumped the gun and tasted cookies before they cooled..therefore finding them doughy...However, after they had a chance to cool completely they were absolutely delicious....I did find them difficult to form into balls though...but will definately try them again!
  • lesconner8
    26 FEB, 2012
    These are amazing!!! They weren't too difficult. I also only needed about half the coconut. I did bake mine nearly the full amount of time listed. I floured my hands to make them into balls which helped a lot. Highly recommended! It also didn't make 54 cookies for me, only about 3 dozen (I must have made them too big, but they turned out great)!