These Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are a delicious twist on a classic recipe made with chocolate dough, filled with cherry pie filling, and more chocolate drizzle on top. Perfect for a cookie exchange, holiday treat, or an anytime sweet dessert!
Thumbprint cookies are classic cookies that are such an enjoyable dessert, especially during the holidays! Combining fruit and a cookie together is such a perfect pair. So why not switch them up with some chocolate! These cookies have an incredible flavor with a soft chocolate cookie batter, rolled and then indented with a thumbprint, then filled with a sweet cherry pie filling, and topped off with a drizzle of chocolate. Not only do they taste amazing but they are a beautiful cookie too! These will definitely be a crowd favorite at your next cookie exchange or Christmas party!
- Butter– I tend to use lightly salted butter in almost all of my dishes. I enjoy the flavor that salt brings out of sweet dishes. However, feel free to use unsalted if you prefer.
- White and brown sugar– this combination seems to help bring a balance of slightly chewy and softness to the cookie.
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder– this brings a deep chocolate flavor to the cookie. The better the cocoa, the better the taste.
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Cherry pie filling– I typically use store-bought. It has a nice thick glaze that holds up well when baking. It also makes this so easy to put together.
How to make it
This is an easy recipe to make. All you have to do is:
Cream– butter and sugars together in a medium bowl. I like to mix until the butter starts to turn almost white in appearance so that there are plenty of air pockets- maybe around 6-7 minutes. It doesn’t seem like this is an important step, but it helps the cookies have a good texture and appearance.
Add– egg and vanilla until combined.
Whisk– flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Mix– the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture until combined. The batter will be thick.
Scoop – the batter using a cookie scoop or one heaping tablespoonful into your hands and roll into a ball.
Place– the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I highly recommend using parchment paper for even cooking and easy clean-up.
Indent– the cookie dough with your thumbprint two times making a cross. This will help make the hole large enough for the cherries to fit inside.
Fill– the hole with one cherry and pie filling, around 1 teaspoon.
Bake– for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Chocolate cookies are a little harder to determine when they are cooked. Look for any shiny uncooked parts. If you see it, return it to the oven and bake an additional minute and check again. But be sure not to cook too long so it doesn’t burn.
Cool– for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Melt– chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave on 50% heat. Be sure not to over-heat or the chocolate will separate and become grainy.
Drizzle– chocolate over completely cooled cookies. Enjoy!
How to store thumbprint cookies
These cookies are great make-ahead desserts since they are best stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 5-7 days. To freeze the cookies, flash-freeze them first by placing cookies on a baking sheet in an even row and freezing them for around 2 hours until the pie filling is firm. Then place the cookies in an air-tight container or a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.
Store-bought or homemade cherry pie filling can be used in these cookies. Just be sure there is plenty of thick pie filling so that the cherry has something to rest on and does not absorb into the cookie dough.
The short answer is no. However, you will find that the cookies hold their shape a little better if the dough is chilled a few hours before baking. But these cookies have been made several times without chilling beforehand with much success.
Yes! Thumbprint cookie dough freezes very well. It can be indented with the thumbprint before or after freezing. Flash freeze on a cookie sheet until each ball is firm before storing in an air-tight container.
Special equipment for this recipe
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer– This is one of my most used kitchen appliances. It is well worth the money and can be used to make a variety of recipes like cookies, cakes, and homemade whipped cream!
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More delicious cookie recipes
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies- creamy peanut butter cookies with the rich chocolate top
- Easy Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies– chewy, moist, and filled with creamy white chocolate chips.
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies– soft and chewy with no freezing time required!
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until it becomes light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended. Scoop dough using a tablespoon or cookie scoop and roll into balls around 1 inch in diameter. Place on ungreased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using your thumb, press down in the center of the ball to make an indentation. Add one cherry and pie filling to fill each of the indentations on the cookie dough.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cookie is just cooked through. Allow to cool on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler or microwave on low power. Be careful not to overcook or the chocolate will harden too quickly. Drizzle over each cooled cookie. Enjoy!