Finger-Lickin’ Good: Get Ready to Devour These Thumbprints!

Picture this: A sunny afternoon, a warm breeze blowing whilst you indulge in the freshly baked, melt-in-your-mouth thumbprint cookies – dulce de leche and Nutella style, packed with flavor and toasted nuts. These are not your ordinary thumbprint cookies; they are a decadent twist on traditional ones that will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I have been experimenting with different dessert recipes, and these dulce de leche and Nutella thumbprints are the perfect combination of flavors. The moment you try them, you will fall in love with their sweet, gooey filling and crispy cookie shell.

This recipe is easy to make with all the ingredients readily available in your pantry or at the grocery store. Whether you are a seasoned baker or just beginning your baking journey, this recipe is sure to impress your friends and family.

So let’s get started on this culinary adventure – follow along for detailed instructions, tips and recommendations on how to make these irresistible dulce de leche and Nutella thumbprints.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints
Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints

Picture this: a freshly-baked, golden-brown thumbprint cookie filled with creamy dulce de leche and decadent Nutella, sprinkled with sea salt and toasted nuts. Can you feel your taste buds tingling with anticipation? Trust me, once you’ve tried these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies, there will be no going back.

What makes this recipe so addictively delicious is the perfect balance of flavors and textures. The crispness of the cookie contrasts beautifully with the smooth, caramel-like richness of the dulce de leche and the velvety chocolate flavor of Nutella. And let’s not forget the sprinkle of sea salt that elevates all the flavors and the crunchy toasted nuts to add a satisfying bite.

What’s great about these cookies is that they are neither too sweet nor too rich. Instead, they are packed with just enough sugar to satisfy your cravings without overwhelming your taste buds. You’ll be able to indulge in a few cookies without feeling guilty or overwhelmed by the sweetness.

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. With only 10 ingredients, you will have a batch of cookies ready in no time. Plus, the dough can be prepared ahead of time, making it an ideal recipe for busy schedules or last-minute entertaining.

Whether you’re looking for a new dessert to impress your guests, a treat to enjoy with your afternoon coffee or a gift to bring to your friends and family, these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies have got you covered. They are sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire – trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Sweet and simple: dulce de leche and Nutella thumbprints.
Sweet and simple: dulce de leche and Nutella thumbprints.

To create the perfect Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints, you will need to gather the following ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter (room temperature): 1 and 1/3 cups
  • Granulated sugar: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla extract: 4 teaspoons
  • All-purpose flour: 2 and 1/2 cups
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dulce de leche: 1 cup (homemade or store-bought)
  • Nutella: 1/2 cup
  • Sea salt, for topping the cookies: to taste

Make sure all your ingredients are the highest quality possible to make the thumbprints with the richest flavors. Also, do not forget that using good quality salt is essential for enhancing the flavor of these delicate bites.

The Recipe How-To

 Get your thumbprint on - this recipe is worth it!
Get your thumbprint on – this recipe is worth it!

Now that we have covered the ingredients and substitutions, let’s dive into the how-to of this delicious recipe. Get ready to make some Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies that will blow your mind!

Prep Time

Before we get started with the recipe, let’s talk about prep time. This recipe is relatively straightforward, but it is essential to have all the ingredients at hand before starting. Get a baking sheet ready and line it with parchment paper.

Step 1: Making the Dough

Start by making the cookie dough. In a mixing bowl, cream together unsalted butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add dulce de leche and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and salt. Add this mixture gradually to the wet ingredients until well combined. Shape the dough into a ball and chill for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Shaping the Cookies

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) then remove the dough from the fridge. Use a small cookie scoop or spoon and start shaping the dough into balls (around 1 tablespoon of dough each). Press an indentation in each ball with your thumb, creating room for the filling.

Step 3: Filling The Thumbprints

Fill each thumbprint with either Nutella, Dulce de Leche, or a mixture of both – whatever you prefer! If using Dulce De Leche, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt on top.

Step 4: Bake and Serve

Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Once baked, allow them to cool off in their own baking tray for five minutes before cooling them completely on a wire rack.

Once cooled off, you can garnish them with chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts or dust them with icing sugar. Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies can be a little bit crumbly, so handle them gently.


And there you have it, folks! A simple yet delicious recipe for Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies that will impress your family and friends. Don’t hesitate to make them ahead of time if you are planning an event or gathering – they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect bite-sized treat for any occasion.
The perfect bite-sized treat for any occasion.

As a seasoned chef, I know that customization is key to personalizing any dish to your unique taste. Therefore, I will present some substitutions and variations that you can try for this recipe to make it truly your own:

– Nutella Jam: If you are feeling adventurous and want to add an extra layer of complexity to the recipe, replace the Nutella filling with a homemade jam of your choice. A raspberry jam, for example, would add a sweet and tangy flavor that would complement the cookies perfectly.

– Salted Dulce de Leche: Some people prefer a saltier taste to their desserts. If that is the case with you, try using salted dulce de leche instead of unsalted. The addition of sea salt will elevate the caramel flavor and create a delicious contrast against the sweetness of the Nutella.

– Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints: If you think Nutella is too sweet for your taste, swap it out for peanut butter (or any nut butter) and jelly. This version of the recipe will be just as delicious and easy to make.

– Chocolate Chili Thumbprints: For those who want to experiment with unconventional flavors, why not try adding some chili powder or cayenne pepper to the chocolate dough? This will give the cookies a spicy kick that will tantalize your taste buds.

Remember, these are just suggestions to get you started. Do not be afraid to play around with different ingredients until you find what works best for you. As always, keep in mind that substitutions may affect the final result of the recipe, so proceed with caution and embrace unexpected outcomes!

Serving and Pairing

 A match made in dessert heaven: dulce de leche and Nutella.
A match made in dessert heaven: dulce de leche and Nutella.

When it comes to serving, these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints are perfect for any occasion. These cookies are versatile enough to be served as an afternoon snack or a dessert after dinner. They are also great for sharing with friends, family, or coworkers.

To take things up a notch, you can pair these thumbprint cookies with a variety of beverages that complement their rich flavors. Coffee and tea lovers will appreciate their decadent flavor when paired with a hot drink. Milk, almond milk, or chocolate milk can also be a great addition for those who like to dunk their cookies.

For something more adult, serve with your favorite sweet dessert wine or port. You can even try serving with some champagne if you want to add some bubbly excitement to your occasion.

Another fun pairing is ice cream – these cookies make for an absolutely delicious ice cream topping. A scoop of vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream can complement the nutty and caramel flavors in the cookie perfectly.

When setting up a table to serve the thumbprints, consider adding some fresh fruit as well – berries or sliced bananas are especially great for balancing out the sweetness.

Overall, these thumbprint cookies are sure to please anyone’s sweet tooth!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These thumbprints are sure to become a family favorite.
These thumbprints are sure to become a family favorite.

One of the best things about these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints is that you can make them ahead of time and store them for later cravings. After baking, let them cool down completely before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

To keep the thumbprints fresher for longer, consider storing the dulce de leche and nutella fillings separately and filling the cookies right before serving them. This will prevent the cookies from getting soggy or stale.

If you want to reheat the cookies before serving, simply place them on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 5 to 7 minutes. This will help the fillings melt slightly and create a gooey center.

These thumbprints are also great for freezing. Simply shape the cookie dough into balls, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer them into a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months.

When you’re ready to bake, simply thaw the cookies at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing them in the oven. You may need to add an extra minute or two to their bake time since they will be going into the oven cold.

Overall, these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints are versatile treats that can be made ahead of time, stored, reheated and frozen without losing their flavor or texture. Whether you’re craving a quick dessert or planning ahead for holiday parties, these thumbprints are sure to delight your taste buds.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't be shy with the dulce de leche and Nutella - they make for the perfect filling!
Don’t be shy with the dulce de leche and Nutella – they make for the perfect filling!

Now that you know how to make the best dulce de leche and Nutella thumbprints, let’s ensure perfect results with some tips.

1. Do not overwork the dough: When making the cookie dough, be gentle and do not overwork it. It can affect the texture of your cookies.

2. Add a pinch of salt to the Dulce de Leche topping: Adding a pinch of sea salt to the Dulce de Leche topping can enhance its flavor and balance out any excessive sweetness.

3. Use freshly toasted nuts: Toasting nuts brings out their natural oils and adds more flavor to the cookies. Ensure that they are fully cooled before adding them to the cookies.

4. Use unsalted butter at room temperature: The butter should be soft and pliable, but not melted. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in your cookie dough.

5. Experiment with different jam flavors: If you’re feeling adventurous or just want to switch things up, try using different jam flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, or peach.

6. Chilling the dough before shaping it: Chilling the dough helps it retain shape when shaping it into balls for thumbprints.

7. Dust them with chocolate sprinkles: For an extra touch of decadence, dust your cookies with chocolate sprinkles after filling them with Dulce de Leche and Nutella mixture.

8. Fill them right before baking: To avoid any leakage of filling onto your baking sheets, fill your thumbprints with Dulce de Leche and Nutella mixture right before baking.

Keep these tips in mind while preparing these thumbprint cookies to achieve scrumptious results every time you make them!

Bottom Line

As I come to the end of this recipe article, I can almost hear you pondering whether or not to attempt making these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprint cookies. Trust me when I say, they are worth it! These cookies are a delightful combination of sweet caramel goodness mixed with rich chocolate hazelnut goodness, all packed in a tender cookie dough.

Try them out for yourself and get lost in the wonderful aroma that will fill your kitchen while you bake them. They are simple and easy to make, yet incredibly addictive. Plus, if you have any leftovers, they can be easily stored and reheated for an indulgent treat anytime you want.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to these deliciously addictive cookies. And remember, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations – swap out the nutella for peanut butter or try adding some chili for some added heat. Whatever your preference may be, these Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints are sure to quickly become a favorite amongst your family and friends.

Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints

Dulce De Leche and Nutella Thumbprints Recipe

You just can't beat the delicate buttery texture of good shortbread cookies. In fact, I'm often tempted to think EVERY cookie should start as a shortbread cookie! Add caramel or chocolate-hazelnut, top them with sea salt...and you have something utterly addictive, a swear-worthy cookie!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Argentinian
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 2085.9 kcal


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 lb.)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 13 ounces dulce de leche (carmel)
  • 13 ounces nutella
  • course sea salt (for sprinkling)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour a little at a time, until it is just combined.
  • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1 oz. balls—about 1 ½ tablespoons. Place them on the cookie sheets and make a deep indention in each cookie, with your thumb. Press any cracks back into place.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes. It will look like the craters have disappeared, but when the cookies cool, they’ll be back!
  • Scoop the Dulce de Leche into a quart-size freezer bag. Microwave it for 30-60 seconds until thin, like melted peanut butter. The bag may be hot, so wrap it in a small towel. Snip a hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze about 1 ½ teaspoons of caramel into the centers of 24 cookies. Tap the cookies gently to help the caramel fill in the entire indention.
  • While the caramel is still a little tacky, sprinkle each cookie with course sea salt. Repeat this process with melted Nutella and the remaining 24 cookies.
  • Allow the Dulce de Leche and Nutella to cool for a little while before serving, so the centers can set.
  • *You could put them in the refrigerator to speed this up!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1660gCalories: 2085.9kcalCarbohydrates: 231.5gProtein: 20.5gFat: 120.8gSaturated Fat: 84.7gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 344.6mgFiber: 8.8gSugar: 116.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Hanukkah
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.