Chocolate Caramel Pecan Thumbprints

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Well, that’s rather a long title for a cookie.  I could call them simply chocolate thumbprints, but then you would miss out on the fact that there’s caramel in that little indentation, not jam as you might expect.  And why pecan?  Aren’t pecans always paired with chocolate and caramel as in “turtles”?  Of course,  I could have called them Chocolate Turtle Cookies,  but I wouldn’t want you to  get the wrong idea and think there were turtles in them either. So, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Thumbprints it is.   You’re gonna love em.

Usually when I see thumbprint cookies they are a light color with a red or green jam in the thumbprint, so I thought one with a chocolate cookie base would be a nice addition to a cookie tray. These could be rolled in powdered sugar or chopped nuts if you really want to fancy them up in addition to the caramel and pecan.

In this recipe I also pass along my trick for getting a perfect indentation to fill with jam or whatever when you make these kind of cookies.  A Cork.  Save a cork from a wine bottle and use it to make that dent and it will be symetrical and  perfectly round and hold just the right amount of filling.  S0000, here we go—-


YIELD:   about 2 dozen


Chewy chocolate, gooey caramel, and crunchy pecan.

Chewy chocolate, gooey caramel, and crunchy pecan.

  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • caramel ice-cream topping
  • pecan halves, or large pieces


1.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

2.  Combine flour, cocoa and salt;  gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.

4.  Shape dough into 1 – inch balls.  Place 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Using a cork, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.   If you wish you can roll the balls in powdered sugar or chopped nuts before making the indentation.

Using a cork makes a perfect indentation for the filling.

Using a cork makes a perfect indentation for the filling.

5.  Fill each indentation with some caramel sauce, and place a pecan half on top.

Top each cookie with a pecan half.

Top each cookie with a pecan half.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until center is set.  Remove from oven to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.   Store in an air tight tin or container with wax paper separating the layers.

Pretty cookies inviting you to take a bite.

Pretty cookies inviting you to take a bite.

SOURCE:   adapted from  The Taste of Home Baking Book



Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

I made these bar cookies this week for my husband to take to a meeting.  (He always signs up to bring a dessert.  I wonder why? ) Anyway, these can be put together pretty easily and the recipe makes a 13″ x 9″ pan full.  That way I get to keep about 6 squares for us at home and he takes the rest.  Any dessert with chocolate in it seems to call me repeatedly until its gone, so I have to protect myself from such temptation.

The basis of the cookie dough is a boxed yellow  cake mix to which butter, egg, and oatmeal is added to make a crumbly mixture.  Press half of it in the baking pan,  partially bake it, then layer chocolate chips and walnuts on top, drizzle with caramel syrup, and cover with the remaining crumb mixture.  Finish baking and Voila!  you have delicious, chewy, chocolaty bars.  Whenever I bring these somewhere, or serve them, I get asked for the recipe.


Yield:  24 bars  Cut 6 rows x 4 rows

  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Quick Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 Tablespoon flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan.
  2. With electric mixer beat cake mix with the butter and egg till crumbly.  Stir in oats. Reserve 1 1/2 cup oat mixture.
  3. Press remaining crumbs into baking pan.   Bake  14 – 18 minutes until light golden brown.  Do not over bake.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over hot crust.
  5. Mix caramel syrup with the 1 T. flour.  Drizzle over chips and nuts.
  6. Use the reserved crumb mixture to sprinkle over the top.  Pat down lightly.
  7. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes till golden brown.  Its best not to over bake these as they will get very firm and hard to remove from the pan.  Allow to cool slightly, and run a knife around the edges to loosen caramel from pan while still warm.  When cooled completely, cut into bars.    Makes about 24 bars.

SOURCE:    Taste of Home Annual Recipes, 2000

Better than Sex Cake

This cake was my other contribution to the dessert table at my granddaughter’s graduation party.  You may have seen it around, called “Better than Sex Cake”.  However, for a new high school graduate I thought it was more appropriate to name it Better Than Homework Cake.  No matter what name it gets,  I call it wonderful.  Everyone will want to know what makes it so moist and what IS that flavor I taste?

I got the recipe from, where you can find many variations.  Since the graduate loves chocolate and so do I there had to be a chocolate something on that table.   S0 this is it:


  • 1 boxed cake mix:  Devils Food
  • ingredients called for on the box:  eggs, vegetable  oil, water
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 6 0z  (3/4 cup)  caramel topping
  • 1 bag chocolate-toffee chips such as Skor or Heath (or crush candy bars, if you can’t find the chips)
  • 8 0z container Cool Whip


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease well a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.

2.  Prepare cake mix as directed on the box.  Bake in prepared pan as box suggests.  Remove from oven when it tests done with a toothpick.  Allow to cool about 5 minutes.

3.   With the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the top of the cake, taking care not to go all the way to the bottom. (Alternately, you can cut lines all over the cake top, again do not go too deep to the bottom).

4.  While cake is finished baking and cooling, mix together the condensed milk and caramel topping in a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave; it does not need to get real hot.   Stir well to combine.  After cake has slightly cooled, pour slowly over the cake letting it soak in.  Sprinkle with about half  the toffee chips.

5.  At serving time,  top the cake with the Cool Whip, sprinkle with more chocolate-toffee chips, and drizzle with caramel syrup.   This is one ooey, gooey, scrumptiousdessert—-to die for!