German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies (and Cookie Contest Updates!)

Today was a most exciting day! Last week, I found out that my recipe for S’mores Rice Krispie Squares made it to the final round of the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest! Today, all the finalists brought our cookies to Central Market to be taste-tested by the judges.

I didn’t end up winning, but I still had an incredible, sugar-filled time. First, I was very honored to be a finalist alongside all of the cookie hall-of-famers in attendance.

Secondly, no cookie competition is complete without samples, and boy, did this one deliver. Check it out:

My rookie status definitely revealed itself when sampling time came around. While the repeat finalists were armed with tupperware and their running shoes to collect as many cookies as possible, I didn’t even have a napkin in my hand, and so started piling cookies directly onto my . . . hand. Whoops.

Luckily, about five cookies in, I spied a stack of paper napkins, and started filling those up. I finally found an empty plate, and, later, a plastic takeaway box from Central Market. Crazy times. Suffice it to say, I don’t think I’ll need to make/eat any more cookies for approximately two months. Except, really, I shouldn’t kid myself. All the finalists also (very kindly) shared their recipes, and I am super excited to try them out and hopefully adapt some for my blog!

Finally, the lovely contest organizers held a raffle, and I won this book that I was totally eyeing:

I may or may not have squealed and jumped up in a rather unbecoming manner when I found out. Get excited, because this signifies many fun cocktail recipes in your future. Thanks to Dallas Morning News and Central Market for this fantastic opportunity! Thanks also to the lovely Alexa for telling me about the contest in the first place.

Today’s cookie recipe is one that I submitted to the contest in the “Decadent” category.
Even though they didn’t make the finals, I still think they’re pretty bangin’. Can I use that word to describe cookies? I think yes.

These are a spin on the traditional German Chocolate Cake. Truthfully, I’ve never been much of a German Chocolate Cake fan. I always wondered why the inventors put in pecans and coconut instead of . . . well, more chocolate. But, after eating the incredible four-layer cake – one of which was German chocolate – that my sister got for my birthday, I started changing my tune.

I got the idea for a thumbprint cookie from one of my absolute favorite cookie recipes: Martha Stewart’s Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel (ahhh salted caramel!!!). I adapted the recipe to make a chocolate thumbprint cookie rolled in coconut flakes, filled with the evaporated milk frosting, and topped with pecans.

The baked coconut adds an amazing texture to these cookies, and I am (surprisingly) a big fan of the filling as well. These are a definite winner in my book/stomach. Happy Friday! Off to eat more cookies!

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies (Inspired by Martha Stewart)

Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies


Thumbprint Cookie:

  1. 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  8. 3 cups sweetened coconut flakes

German Chocolate Filling:

  1. 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  2. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  3. 3/4 cup white sugar
  4. 3 egg yolks
  5. 1 1/2 sticks butter
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped


Thumbprint Cookie:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt, then set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then mix in vanilla extract.
  3. With mixer on low, slowly add dry mixture until just combined. Roll each cookie into a 1-inch ball. Dip in beaten egg, then roll in coconut flakes. Place on parchment-lined sheets, then make indentation with thumb.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then re-indent cookies with thumb. Return cookies to oven and bake for approximately 6 more minutes. Let cool, then fill with German Chocolate Filling.

German Chocolate Filling:

  1. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick (about 9 minutes). If mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat.
  2. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes (during this time, mixture will cont to thicken).
  3. Spoon into cookie indentations, then sprinkle with chopped pecans.

5 thoughts on “German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies (and Cookie Contest Updates!)

  1. HOO man FAVORITE COOKIES EVER. Erik still remembers your cookies as the biggest “balls of butter” ever hahaha. Omg. I want to try these nowwwww (but omg so much butter ahhh!)

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