Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

Martha Stewart made me do it.

I really wanted something caramelly for this year’s Fall Cookie Week. So, when I saw this recipe for Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints, I knew I had a winner.

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

To be completely honest with you, I usually steer clear of MS recipes. In the past, I’ve found them to be overly complicated, and they never turn out quite right. I’m pleased to say, however that this recipe was surprisingly easy. And, if you love coconut and caramel, these cookies are downright delicious.

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

I did see a few reviews warning that the dough is a bit crumbly, so I cut back slightly on the flour. It was still somewhat crumbly (which is important for the end result), so when you are forming the balls, just give them a squeeze with your hands first to compact the dough; then roll into a ball. I had no problem with that method.

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

I absolutely adore coconut, so I really love these cookies. I also can’t get over how wonderfully the salt and caramel work together. If you’ve never experienced this combination, you must give it a try. I know it sounds weird, but it’s like a little flavor party for your mouth.

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

I thought about dipping half of each cookie into melted chocolate, but I resisted.If you decide to give that a try, I think it would totally take these cookies to the next level. Give me a shout out if you do.

With this recipe under our belts, I have one more cookie to share with you tomorrow. I’m actually making them this morning, and I’m pretty excited about it.

Don’t forget to participate in the FCW giveaway. If your kitchen could benefit from a new KitchenAid Mixer, you can enter to win one here. Good luck to all!

I’ll catch you on the flip side for our final recipe!

Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints

Here's what you will need:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut
1 bag (about 14 ounces) soft caramel candies
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons large, flaky sea salt

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat together your butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes); then beat in the vanilla and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and beat until just combined.

Roll the dough with your hands into 1-inch balls.

Then, in one small bowl place your lightly beaten eggs. In another small bowl, place your coconut. Dip each ball first in the egg, then roll in the coconut.

Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press an indentation into each ball with your thumb, finger, or back of a wooden spoon. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and re-press the indentations. (Use caution since the cookies are hot.) Place the cookies back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the cookies and coconut are golden.

Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Now, place the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir constantly until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the caramel sauce into the cookie indentations. Then, sprinkle with sea salt.


Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints


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Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprints
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  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen at

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has trouble with MS recipes. I have her cookie book and some have worked great but some have been flops. But these look delicious. It’s like macaroon meets salted caramel meets shortbread!

  • Joanne B. at

    Hello Michael,
    I don’t remember just how I found your blog a few days ago, but I have already made you a favorite. Love all these cookie recipes, even tho I am not that busy a baker. ( I like to think I am Suzy Homemaker- but alas, I don’t even try really) When I saw these Caramel Coconut Thumbprints I was thinking they needed chocolate! I have dreams of making these soon and I think I will try drizzling chocolate on top. I’ll let you know, but it may take me awhile! Thanks for the motivation (maybe!)

  • Maralyn Woods at

    These look like they’re right up my alley and I have all the ingredients. Somewhat surprisingly I have been having very good results from the Martha Stewart recipe videos presented by Sarah Carey. I subscribe and have done many of the recipes which are not overly involved – the videos are quite short and there’s not a lot of time for nonsense, yet it’s all made from scratch. A must for me with my sodium issues. You might want to give it a try. Alas the sodium deal means that I will have to leave the salt out of your wonderful recipe, but I’m hoping for the best. Thank you for another great post, Michael. Now I’ll do the math below so I can post this. LOL

  • Kim at

    I will be giving these a try tomorrow. And will give the dipped chocolate a shot. I also love coconut and salted Carmel . k

  • Chris at

    Oh my goodness! You are so awesome. These look ahh-mazing! Totally going on my ‘must-make’ list! 🙂

  • Claudia at

    These look and sound SCRUMPTIOUS! However as I live in Norway, I am guessing a stick of butter might be different 🙂 can you tell me the precise measurement? Thanks!!

    • Elle at

      1 US stick of butter = 113 grams Happy Baking!

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  • Robin at

    I am guessing these probably don’t freeze well. How long do you think they would stay “fresh”. So glad to find your recipe!

  • Kat at

    Could you use a caramel sundae topping in place of the melted caramel candies or would that be too gooey?

  • Dee at

    How many cookies does this recipe yield?

  • vicki at

    How many cookies does this make ? Thank you

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Hi Vicki –

      It makes about 50 cookies. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Kim Clarke at

    I made these through the holidays, FANTASTIC~~

  • Becca at

    These look amazing, but three sticks of butter! I’m wondering if you could do the same thing by making coconut macaroons and turning them into thumbprints…

  • Jennifer at

    I made these tonight, I did without the sea salt (although, drool… I love sea salt) and drizzled the cookies with chocolate. This will become a staple in my cookie rotation. Thank you for posting with your comments!

  • Aly at

    This came up as a Passover recipe and looked so good. It’s not OK for Passover but does look like a yummy cookie. I wonder if the idea can be adapted for Passover?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’m not sure Aly, I don’t celebrate Passover, so I’m not sure of the restrictions.

      xo Michael

  • Melissa at

    When does the heavy cream go in?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      With the caramels. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Carol Haserjian at

    How do you store these and how many days will the stay fresh. Thanks

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at


      I store all my cookies in an airtight container. As with most homemade cookies shelf life is about 2 weeks.

      xo Michael

  • Emma at

    These look AMAZING!! Also, this is my first time finding your blog and it too is AMAZING!! Keep up the amazing content, I’ll definitely be back to visit!

  • Annie at

    I melted dark chocolate chips in the microwave, transferred them to a squeeze bottle with a thin tip and then drizzled the chocolate over them. Made them taste like the original “Yes,Yes” cookies I grew up with ages ago!! Kind of like the original Girl Scout Samoa cookies.

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It at

    I love Martha; she’s my hero!! ButI do agree that the recipes could be more descriptive and helpful at times.

  • Evee at

    These cookies are INSANELY ADDICTIVE. The salted caramel is killer with this cookie. Thanks for sharing this fabulist recipe Mike!

    • Evee at


  • Janel @nelliebellie at

    Could there be a better combo than salted caramel and coconut? Heck no!! These look to die for!

  • Jo at

    Sounds amazing! Could I freeze the dough (pre-bake) and bake this cookies a week later?
    Would it be better to freeze it before the egg ang coconut step??

  • Dulcie at

    Thus was my first attempt at a thumbprint cookie and as they say, your results may vary. LOL. They are scrumptious but I had a problem with spreading at first. They were going very flat and losing the indentation. I decided to bake the balls without making a divot for about 6 minutes. I pulled them out, used the back of my 1/2 tsp spoon to make the divot and put them back in for more baking. I pulled them out one more time to re-divot then finished baking. They took a bit longer to bake but held their shape better.

  • Jane at

    These look so delicious – I am going to try making them!!! Best part is that the hubs doesn’t care for coconut OR salted caramel (really now, is that even normal?!?!?). So, they would all be mine….just mine!!!

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