6 Ingredient Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies made healthier with vegan caramel, dark chocolate & a gluten-free paleo shortbread cookie base! Perfect for the holidays or whenever you have a cookie craving!

Okay, can we talk about these salted caramel thumbprint cookies for a minute? I mean WOW I can’t think of a better combination. Dark chocolate, salted caramel, shortbread cookies, flaky sea salt…yes, please! 

This is probably the best addition to your holiday cookie tray or would even make a great DIY gift! I also enjoy them year-round because they are too good to only have one month out of the year 🙂 

Not to mention they’re gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free, and filled with the easiest vegan caramel. I could honestly talk about these cute thumbprint cookies all day and guarantee you’re going to love them as much as me :) 

These Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are super easy to make with only 6 ingredients total! The tender gluten-free and Paleo shortbread cookies are filled with a no-cook vegan caramel and topped off with a dark chocolate drizzle and flaky sea salt. They're perfect for the holidays!

Ingredients for salted caramel thumbprint cookies

While these cookies contain three main parts: the base, caramel filling, and chocolate drizzles, there are only 6 total ingredients required! You’re going to love how easy these are to whip up 🙂  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Blanched Almond Flour: You need finely ground almond flour for the shortbread cookie base! Make sure you get flour and not almond meal, as this will affect the texture.
  • Melted Coconut Oil: To help bind the cookie dough! You’ll also use coconut oil for the vegan caramel sauce.
  • Maple Syrup: I love using maple syrup to sweeten to keep these refined sugar-free! Maple also adds a cozy flavor to the caramel sauce. 
  • Creamy Almond Butter: a little almond butter for the caramel sauce to create a rich texture. Feel free to sub peanut butter if needed like we did for my homemade twix bars!
  • Dark Chocolate: for the drizzle on top!
  • Sea Salt: the best pairing to homemade caramel sauce 🙂 I like using flaky sea salt, like Maldon.
These Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are super easy to make with only 6 ingredients total! The tender gluten-free and Paleo shortbread cookies are filled with a no-cook vegan caramel and topped off with a dark chocolate drizzle and flaky sea salt. They're perfect for the holidays!

Tips for the best homemade thumbprint cookies

  1. Chill the dough: when preparing the cookie dough you’ll first shape the batter into a large ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge. It’s important to chill for 30 minutes to get a soft, tender shortbread cookie texture.
  2. Use refined coconut oil: if you want to avoid a slight coconut flavor, make sure your coconut oil is refined vs. unrefined.
  3. Set in the refrigerator: Once the cookies are done baking and you’ve filled them with caramel + dark chocolate, it’s important to place them in the fridge to firm up! You’ll keep any leftovers stored in the fridge as well to maintain shape and quality.
These Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are super easy to make with only 6 ingredients total! The tender gluten-free and Paleo shortbread cookies are filled with a no-cook vegan caramel and topped off with a dark chocolate drizzle and flaky sea salt. They're perfect for the holidays!

What makes these cookies healthy?

Besides being full of simple, nourishing ingredients, these salted caramel thumbprint cookies are so flavorful and tender! My good friend Monica could not get enough of the buttery shortbread base and rich caramel combination… So what makes them healthier than the typical thumbprint cookie?

  • Refined sugar-free
  • Grain-Free + Paleo
  • Gluten-Free
  • Full of healthy fats
  • Lightly maple sweetened
  • Melt in your mouth DELICIOUS!!
These Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies are super easy to make with only 6 ingredients total! The tender gluten-free and Paleo shortbread cookies are filled with a no-cook vegan caramel and topped off with a dark chocolate drizzle and flaky sea salt. They're perfect for the holidays!

More cookies you’ll love to bake! 

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Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (Gluten Free, Paleo + Vegan)

  • Author: Rachel Conners
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

6 Ingredient Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies made healthier with vegan caramel, dark chocolate & a gluten-free paleo shortbread cookie base! Perfect for the holidays or whenever you have a cookie craving!


Ingredients

Scale

For the caramel

  • 3 tablespoons (42g) creamy almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) coconut oil, melted 
  • 2 tablespoons (42g) pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt, to taste 

For the drizzle

  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or chips
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.
  3. Form 15 balls with the dough, about 1 tablespoon each. Make an imprint in the center of each cookie with your thumb.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes for until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and use a small teaspoon to press down lightly on the thumb imprints again, to make sure theres room for the filling in case they puffed or spread in the oven at all. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth. Fill each thumbprint with the caramel.
  6. Place chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Put the melted chocolate in a small zip bag, snip the corner, and drizzle over the cookies. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, to taste.
  7. Place cookies in the refrigerator to set. Keep stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Use refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut flavor.
Recipe adapted from my Jam Thumbprint Cookies.

Keywords: cookies, thumbprint, caramel, chocolate, vegan, gluten free, paleo

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