These Caramel Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies are simple to make and perfect for pumpkin spice lovers! What makes these even better is the simple homemade caramel centers!
Thumbprint cookies, oh how I love to eat thee, but I was completely terrified to make thee. Why? Because I’ve made thumbprint cookies once before, and they were all cracked, dry, and not great. The center was tasty, but that’s about it. The dough lacked flavor and happiness. Don’t worry these Caramel Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies are soft, full of flavor, and as moist as a cookie of this structure could be.
These cookies were not my idea. I saw the idea on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Sally used apple pie spice, which is quite fallish and yummy, but me, being the pumpkin spice flavor lover that I am, had to make these perfect cookies even better with pumpkin spices! And they do not disappoint!
Don’t be intimidated by that caramel either! It’s fairly simple to make. I’ve made caramel several ways, but her way was new to me, but so simple. I’m all about simple! After about an hour or so, these cookies are completely stackable because the caramel sort of sets up a little. Don’t worry my friends, the caramel only “sets” on top. The center is still gooey. You can be like Kelsie, and eat all the cookie our from around the center, and leave the center last. She likes to savor the center.
These Caramel Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies would be fun to make with the kids. Kelsie helped me out. I shaped the dough into balls, and then she rolled then in the sugar spice mixture. She even helped me put the indention in the cookies. We used the wooden handle from my Kitchen Aid rubber spatula. It seemed to be the perfect size and rounded shape for the thumbprint. If the cookies cracked around the edges any, we just sort of pressed them back together.
I got almost 3 dozen cookies out of these, measuring out a tad less than a tablespoon each. These are perfect for snacking on when you’re craving that sweet treat! They would also be really great for all those upcoming holiday parties where you’re expected to bring something. Just be sure to bring the recipe with you, because everyone is going to be asking how to make these insanely delicious cookies!
If you’re intimidated at all by the caramel, don’t be. It’s the most basic caramel recipe that I’ve ever made. You don’t need a candy thermometer, and you don’t need any special equipment. You could skip the caramel, IF you really didn’t want it, and use pumpkin butter. But I’m not sure that you’ll have the same “set” that the caramel does. They may be a bit messy. So just give the caramel a try, just once! You never know what you’re capable of until you try.
If you make these cookies, come back and tell us what you thought!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl attached to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for at least two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Set aside.
- Mix together the topping in a small bowl. Measure the cookie dough a little less than one tablespoon, shape into rounded balls. Roll into the topping mix. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Continue this process until you run out of dough. Using your thumb or the handle of a large utensil, make an indention in the center of the cookies. If they are cracking around the edges, just push the cracks back together. Chill the dough for two hours, but no more than 3 hours.
- After the cookies have chilled for a little over an hour, make the caramel. See below.
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel into the centers. Bake for another 2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks, to cool completely.
- Heat the sugar in a medium pot over medium to high heat. Stirring constantly. The sugar will eventually start to brown and clump up, before melting into a thick bubbling liquid.
- As soon as the sugar has melted, add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring constantly. The sugar will rise up a tad as the butter as added, so be careful. Once all the butter has been added, stir for about two minutes. Very slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to boil for one minute. Remove from the stove, and allow to cool. I poured mine into a mason jar to help it cool off quicker.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 55mg Sodium: 174mg Carbohydrates: 37g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g