Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)I love thumbprint cookies because of the obvious reasons (sugar! butter!), but also because the process of making them is a real grown-up-playing-with-her-food moment. And that’s kind of fun. I see why kids do it. 🙂

These feature just a little bit of pumpkin. I don’t know about you, but this time of year you can usually find a partially used can of pumpkin puree in my refrigerator most of the time. Not that it’s the same can forever. I usually use it up within a week or so (and I don’t always store it in the can, I often use tupperware), but still it seems that many pumpkin recipes that I enjoy (like homemade PSL syrup among other things) just don’t use an entire 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree. So I’m left adding it to my morning oatmeal or dreaming up little treats to make. Which is partly how these cookies came to be.

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com) I also added a bit of whole grain flour to the batter for these and I think it really adds something, so give it a try. That, and then I’ve tricked you into buying whole grain flour. So now you’ve got to come on the journey with me. What journey, you ask? You know, the journey of substituting whole grain flour in almost everything you make for at least a few months just to see. It’s pretty addicting I tell you.

Thumbprint cookiesPumpkin Thumbprint Cookies, makes a dozen.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin centers:
1 yolk
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 oz melted dark chocolate (optional, but why not?)

In a mixing bowl stir together the butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until just combined. Then stir in the flours and salt. The dough should be fairly dense and hold its shape.

For the pumpkin batter, just stir together the yolk, pumpkin and cinnamon. This will kind of resemble baby food. 🙂

Best chocolate bar!Don’t be jealous, but here’s the chocolate I used for these. It’s no secret that I LOVE Askinosie Chocolate, and they just started making these smaller sized bars for Target. Cute, right?

How to make thumbprint cookiesAnyway, once you have your batters ready, divide the cookie dough into twelve small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Make a small indention in the center with your thumb and fill with a little of the pumpkin batter. Bake at 350°F for 15-16 minutes.

Melt your chocolate (in a double boiler or the microwave) and drizzle it over the top. If pumpkin and chocolate just aren’t for you, then you could use white chocolate for a different flavor or dust with a little powdered sugar. Or, easiest of all, leave them unadorned. They do already have sugar in them so you don’t HAVE to add more.

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com) These are the perfect little cookies to go with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee, so that’s my serving suggestion to you. I’ve been trying to switch to tea in the afternoon instead of coffee because I am getting old and I suspect the coffee keeps me up at night. But man do I love coffee, so it’s hard to remember to switch. The struggle is real. OK, bye now. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • These sound delicious and look so festive. Also, thanks for the tip to put pumpkin in my oatmeal. Yummy,

  • I tried to make these today and they turned out very crispy and almost a bit melty (like when chocolate chip cookies get very flat and crispy). Help! What did I do wrong?!

  • I love these! I used to make them growing up also with a hershey’s kiss for Christmas.

  • I made these tonight and my boyfriend and I have already eaten more than half the batch! I love that they aren’t too sweet- and they’re SO perfect for fall 🙂 Thanks Emma!

  • Love the idea! I’m not a huge fan of traditional thumbprint cookies (they weren’t really a family specialty, which I’m sure would be a factor, plus I’m just all about the creamy or chocolate desserts), but pumpkin and chocolate….oh yeah. And I have long substituted whole wheat flour in my baking for half if not all of the flour – white whole wheat (which is hard white winter wheat if I’m grinding my own) or pastry flour work well. Not a fan of red wheat. But anyway, I do it even in desserts, and since it’s kind of just what we do, I don’t even notice anymore, although I’ve been more lax lately and only doing half and half. Bread tastes like candy when it’s only half whole wheat and you’re used to making it 100%!!

  • Just the thing I was graving!! They look so cute and delicious for a fall treat.


  • These look divine and I bet they are! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!


  • I have that partially used can of pumpkin puree in my fridge right now that I had no idea what to do with. Totally making these!

  • Those look amazing! I definitely need to make these. Chocolate and pumpkin, that’s just perfection!

  • Oh my these look amazing! Gotta love me anything pumpkin related!


  • Mmmm! I love thumbprint cookies. It’s so delicious to sub out vanilla extract for almond extract!!!!

  • It’s almost too pretty to eat!…almost 😉


  • Yum! I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin! These cookies look delicious!


  • These look awesome, but I’m not so sure about the pumpkin taste. I guess I’d take raspberry jam instead. But thanks for this recipe!


  • Ooh my family makes thumbprints for Christmas and we roll them in nuts before pressing them down! I think that’d be really good with the pumpkin!

  • I love that they look like eggs in some way!! hehe


  • These look SO good and so simple to make! Such a great treat for a party! Or for yourself..while you watch Netflix at home on a Saturday night.. 😉


  • Yum! These look so good! I have never seen pumpkin thumbprints.

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

  • I am literally that person that loves all pumpkin everything and these are no exception. Wow, these look scrumptious, but also so pretty that I wouldn’t want to eat them!

    Nicolette | The Magnolia Girls

  • I love all things pumpkin, and these just made me even more excited for the fall. Thank you for sharing!

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