As if chocolate thumbprint cookies weren't already deliciously decadent enough, this recipe takes it even further with creamy peanut butter. For starters, we added the heavenly spread to the cookie dough, which brings out the rich chocolatey flavor. Next, we finished the thumbprints with a chocolate-peanut butter filling that makes everyone who tastes it absolutely swoon with delight. We start serving these indulgent cookies early in the fall, when potlucks, tailgates, and Halloween parties abound. Since the cookies taste something akin to a peanut butter cup, it's a fitting pick for the fall season. We don't stop there, though. Christmastime calls for all sorts of holiday treats, and these nutty chocolate thumbprints look pretty as a Normal Rockwell on the party spread. Don't be afraid to garnish with holiday-hued sprinkles or crushed candy pieces; it only makes these more festive for every affair. These show-stopping cookies are sure to wow the crowd.

Southern Living


Credit: Hector Sanchez

Recipe Summary test

40 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Makes 30 cookies




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat 1/2 cup butter at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add brown sugar and 3/4 cup powdered sugar; beat until well blended. Beat in 3/4 cup peanut butter, scraping down sides as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium-low, and gradually add flour mixture, beating just until blended. 

  • Shape dough into 30 balls. Place 12 balls 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Press thumb into each ball, forming an indentation.

  • Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until set; cool 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and cool 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • Beat 1/4 cup peanut butter and 2 Tbsp. butter at medium speed until smooth. Microwave chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Add melted chocolate to peanut butter mixture, and beat at medium speed just until blended. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture alternately with 2 Tbsp. milk, beginning with sugar. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat in up to 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  • Spoon filling into a zip-top plastic bag; snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole, and pipe filling into indentations in cookies.