Double Chocolate Espresso Thumbprint Cookies

These Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookies! An easy thumbprint cookies recipe yielding the most soft & buttery chocolate thumbprint cookies, made intensely chocolatey thanks to instant espresso powder, filled with a simple fudgy ganache filling. These cocoa thumbprint cookies are decadent, chocolatey, & totally easy to make. The perfect addition to any Christmas Cookie plate this holiday season!

A stack of 4 double chocolate thumbprint cookies placed on a copper wire cooling rack. The stack is surrounded by additional cookies & a spoonful of fudgy ganache.

Pin this Double Chocolate Espresso Thumbprint Cookies recipe for later!!!

The holiday baking season is fiiiiiiinally here!!! I could not be more excited.

One of my most favorite things in the entire world is waking up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, flicking on our Christmas lights, brewing a big ol’ pot of coffee, & spending a few hours whipping up some holiday treats to share with our family, friends & neighbors. It’s quiet, cozy Christmastime perfection, & I live for it.

Double chocolate thumbprint cookie sitting atop a white surface, surrounded by other thumbprint cookies & some whole coffee beans.

High on my list of treats to make this season are these Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. They’re everything you want out of a chocolate cookie…

  • soft & decadently fudgy – the thumbprints are borderline brownie-like, plus they’re filled with an insanely velvety chocolate ganache.
  • totally filled with rich, chocolatey flavor, thanks to a teeny tiny secret ingredient. My favorite baking trick!
  • very easy to make – you need a mixer, a couple of bowls, & about 60 minutes.
  • very easy to share – 1 batch yields a ton of cookies, which are easy & fun to divvy up on your cookie plates or at a Christmas cookie exchange.
  • plus, they’re super versatile – you can tweak this thumbprint cookies recipe a ton of different ways for even more goodness. I share some of my favorite ideas below!
A stack of 4 double chocolate thumbprint cookies placed on a copper wire cooling rack. The top cookie has a bite taken out of it. The stack is surrounded by additional cookies & a spoonful of fudgy ganache, & mini silver & gold Christmas ornaments.

Double plus: these chocolate thumbprint cookies make for an excellent little holiday coffee dunker…JUST SAYIN’!

Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Ingredients:

This chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe couldn’t be simpler, calling for less than 10 pretty basic baking staples.

The cast of characters includes (note: a full Ingredients List, including measurements, is provided in the Recipe Card, below)…

  • butter
  • sugar – I love the combination of brown sugar & granulated sugar for the best flavor & chewy texture
  • an egg
  • vanilla extract
  • flour
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • & my favorite baking secret weapon: DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder

I’ve used espresso powder in all of my chocolatey treats ever since learning that Queen Ina swears by it. It doesn’t necessarily add a ton of coffee flavor to your goodies, but it does add rich, earthy flavor that enhances & intensifies the chocolate flavor even more. (Not sure about you, but I’m all about enhanced & intensified chocolate flavor!)

DeLallo’s Instant Espresso Powder is an absolute staple in my baking pantry. Unlike using ground coffee or espresso beans, this espresso powder dissolves, making it really easy to mix into treats without impacting the texture at all. A bottle will last just about forever, too!

Thumbprint cookies dry mix (flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder & salt) in a large mixing bowl. A woman's hands are reaching into the bowl with a small whisk. At the top of the frame sits a bottle of DeLallo Instant Espresso Baking powder.

How to make Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:

My favorite part about this double chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe is that it’s super easy to make. The dough comes together very quickly without any chilling or resting needed.

The key steps include (note: full Recipe Directions are provided in the Recipe Card, below)…

  1. Make the chocolate thumbprint cookie dough: Pretty straight-forward cookie-makin’ business here. I like to let my butter & sugar cream for an extra minute to create a really light & fluffy base, which translates to creating the best texture in the cookies.
  2. Roll out the dough into 1-inch balls. Pop ’em on a baking sheet & use your thumb to create an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  3. Bake the chocolate thumbprints for 6-8 minutes, just til the edges of the cookies are set. Overbaking will compromise the rich, fudgy texture of the cookies, so check at 6 minutes & pull them out of the oven as soon as they’re ready!
  4. Make chocolate ganache while the cookies bake. Traditional ganache recipes call for setting up a fussy double boiler, but I find that microwaving the chocolate & cream in 30-second intervals works just as well without any of the hassle.
  5. Fill the cookies! Spoon some of the fudgy chocolate ganache into the center of each of the cookies. Top them off with a quick dusting of espresso powder for an extra festive touch.

How long will thumbprint cookies stay fresh?

I honestly like these double chocolate thumbprint cookies best the day they’re made, but they will keep stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

If you’re looking to make-ahead, here’s what I suggest:

  • Make-Ahead Option #1: Bake the cookies as directed (through Step 6 of Recipe Directions, below) & store in an airtight container (according to Storage instructions, above). The day you’ll be serving or gifting the thumbprint cookies, whip up a batch of ganache & quickly fill the cookies.
  • Make-Ahead Option #2: Make the chocolate thumbprint cookie dough & form the cookies as directed (through Step 5 of Recipe Directions, below), & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (or freeze up to 3 months). The night before you’d like to bake chocolate thumbprints, thaw out the dough in the fridge and finish the cookies as directed.
Double chocolate thumbprint cookies arranged on a copper wire baking rack, a top a white surface.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Variations:

While the cookies are totally delish just as they are, this chocolate thumbprint cookies recipe is also incredibly versatile. You can easily tweak the recipe to create even more thumbprint goodness.

A few ideas:

  • Peppermint mocha thumbprint cookies: Mix 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract into the cookie dough. Top the assembled double chocolate thumbprint cookies off with a sprinkling of crushed peppermint candies for an extra festive touch.
  • Salted caramel mocha thumbprint cookies: Omit the fudgy ganache filling altogether – spoon your favorite prepared salted caramel into the center of each thumbprint cookie & finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
  • Black Forest chocolate thumbprint cookies: Omit the fudgy ganache filling altogether – spoon your favorite prepared raspberry jam into the center of each thumbprint cookie.
  • Black & White thumbprint cookies: Rather than using dark chocolate in the fudgy ganache filling, opt for high-quality white chocolate.

Orrrr, make a few batches of cookie dough & try all of the above?! I mean…it’s Christmas cookie season…you can’t really go wrong…

A thumbprint cookie shown with a bite taken out of it. The cookie is sitting atop a white surface, surrounded by a couple of other cookies, chocolatey crumbs, & mini Christmas ornaments.

I hope you give this Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies recipe a try very soon – they’ll be the star of your Christmas cookie plates this year!

If you do make them, be sure to leave a comment with a star rating below. I love hearing from you! Speaking of which, be sure to also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. One of my absolute favorite things is seeing your pwwb creations!

Oh, & be sure to order a bottle (or 10) of DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder – it’ll be a new go-to for all of your chocolatey treats!

A stack of 4 double chocolate thumbprint cookies placed on a copper wire cooling rack. The stack is surrounded by additional cookies, mini silver & gold Christmas ornaments, & a jar of DeLallo Instant Espresso powder.
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A stack of 4 double chocolate thumbprint cookies placed on a copper wire cooling rack. The stack is surrounded by additional cookies & a spoonful of fudgy ganache.

Double Chocolate Espresso Thumbprint Cookies

  • Author: jess larson | plays well with butter
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2224 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies – the ultimate Christmas cookies! Soft & buttery chocolate thumbprint cookies, made intensely chocolatey thanks to instant espresso powder, filled with a simple fudgy ganache filling. Totally decadent & chocolatey, & they couldn’t be easier to make.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoonpure vanilla extract

for the fudgy ganache filling:


Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean up. Set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: Add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if you do not have a stand mixer, you can use an electric mixer). Mix the butter for a minute, until light & fluffy. Add both of the sugars and mix on medium-high speed until light & fluffy, 4-5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing to combine.
  4. Make the chocolate thumbprint cookie dough: Carefully add the dry ingredient mix from Step 2 to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed, just until combined.
  5. Roll the dough into 22-24 uniform 1-inch balls. Arrange the dough balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb, press down on the center of each ball, creating an indentation.
  6. Bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes, or until the edges are set. The cookies will spread slightly as they bake. If the indentation in the center of the cookies puffs up a bit, simply use the back of a spoon to carefully press it back down.
  7. Make the ganache filling: Add the chopped chocolate & heavy cream to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate by microwaving in 30-second intervals, stopping to stir the mixture thoroughly after each interval.
  8. Fill the cookies: Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the ganache filling into the center of each thumbprint cookie. Set aside or chill to set.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

Keywords: Christmas recipes, Christmas Cookies, Christmas Cookies Recipes, Dessert Recipes

More Christmas Cookies & Holiday Treats to love…

A stack of 4 double chocolate thumbprint cookies placed on a copper wire cooling rack. The stack is surrounded by additional cookies & a spoonful of fudgy ganache, & mini silver & gold Christmas ornaments.

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Don’t forget to pin this Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies recipe for later!!!

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Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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