Recipe - Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

That, my friends, is a mouthful! Maybe you can help me come up with a shorter name? Well anyhow, remember when one of the Test Kitchen ingredients was black lava sea salt? I think I may have gone a little overboard in trying to use it a variety of ways. This cookie was actually my first choice when thinking of what to make because I wanted to incorporate the smokiness from the black lava sea salt with something a little more savory or rich, like peanut butter! Of course, you don't have to exactly fill thumbprint cookies with caramel. I'm sure this base would be tasty with jam as well. However, the salted caramel on top really does add a little umph to your dessert. I adapted the recipe from here.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 30-36 cookies)
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce
  • black lava sea salt

Step 2: Mixing the ingredients
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt (dry ingredients). In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars (wet ingredients). Add egg and vanilla extract. When mixed well, add peanut butter.


Step 3: Incorporating
When both mixtures have been well-combined, gently add the two together and mix until a soft dough forms. Lay parchment paper out on a baking sheet. Using a tablespoon, scoop leveled spoonfuls of dough onto a sheet about 1.5" apart. Use a teaspoon to indent each cookie.


Step 4: Finishing
Bake for 13-15 minutes; they will be golden brown along the edges but still soft enough in the middle to redo the impressions. Use the teaspoon again to push down on the wells - you'll need to make sure your filling stays. Cool cookies before adding caramel sauce. Sprinkle with black lava sea salt and let set (~1 hour). Enjoy!


Photography by Minerva Thai.