I partnered with Mezzetta for this post. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies are topped with chocolate ganache and a maraschino cherry for a decadent dessert!

chocolate thumbprint cookies with chocolate ganache and maraschino cherries on wire cooling rack

It’s cookie season and what better way to celebrate than with some thumbprint cookies? These chocolate cookies are kicked up a notch with rich chocolate ganache and maraschino cherries. Each bite is sweet and chocolate-y. You will no doubt want to treat yourself to two or three!

Why this recipe works: The chocolate cookies are made with unsweetened cocoa, which provides a deep chocolate flavor. The chocolate ganache is easy to make with only two ingredients. For the best flavor, choose Mezzetta Maraschino Cherries—they contain no artificial dyes or flavors, and no preservatives!

photo collage demonstrating how to make dough for chocolate thumbprint cookies

Overview: How to make chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies

  1. Make the dough: Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  2. Shape and chill the dough: Roll dough into one-inch balls. Place on cookie sheet and make a thumbprint in the center. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  3. Bake the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Let cookies cool completely.
  4. Make the ganache: Heat heavy cream in the microwave for 45 seconds. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted.
  5. Assemble: Use a spoon to fill each cookie with a teaspoon of chocolate ganache. Garnish with a Mezzetta maraschino cherry on top.
photo collage demonstrating how to make chocolate ganache for thumbprint cookies
chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies on wire cooling rack; jar of maraschino cherries next to cookies

Helpful tips

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies are fun to make! Here are a few tips for baking success. Prepare the dough ahead of time. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before baking. This helps the cookies maintain their shape and chewy texture. Bake the cookies for only 12 to 14 minutes. They will feel soft, but they will set as they cool.

When making the ganache, heat the heavy cream until very hot. The cream needs to be pretty hot (just below a simmer) in order to melt the chocolate (see tips for melting chocolate here). Also, make sure to use good quality chocolate. This will make a nice smooth ganache to complement the maraschino cherries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best cherries for cookies? For these cookies I used Mezzetta Maraschino Cherries. These are my preferred cherries for baking because of their rich color and sweet flavor. They also contain no artificial dyes or flavors, and no preservatives! You can purchase Mezzetta maraschino cherries online.

What do I do if the thumbprint puffed up while baking? Simple fix! As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use the back of the cookie scoop or spoon to reinforce the thumbprint in the center of the baked cookies.

Can you make chocolate thumbprint cookies ahead of time? Yes. The dough can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or stored in the freezer for 3 months. Baked cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I suggest assembling the cookies the day you intend to serve them.

chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies on cooling rack with red holiday ribbon; jar of cherries next to cooling rack

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies are a must for the holiday cookie plate. They are the perfect chocolate-y sweet dessert. They are easy-to-make while feeling decadent thanks to the chocolate ganache and Mezzetta maraschino cherries. It’s like eating a chocolate-covered cherry, but in cookie form!

Not only are these cookies rich in chocolate flavor, but they are the perfect vehicle for eating delicious Mezzetta maraschino cherries! If you try this recipe be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can share my favorites!

hand reaching for chocolate cherry thumbprint cookie on wire cooling rack with handle tied with ribbon

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies are topped with chocolate ganache and a maraschino cherry for a decadent dessert!
5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

Chocolate thumbprint cookies

  • 1 ⅓ cup (166 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (48 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, , room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
  • cup (66 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg,, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl using an electric mixer (or a stand mixer), beat butter, brown sugar and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough. Roll it into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center. Repeat with remaining dough, place cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Ten minutes before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are set (the center will be soft). If the cookies puffed up while baking, use the back of the cookie scoop or a spoon to reinforce the indentation in the center. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the ganache, heat the heavy cream until very hot, about 45 seconds in the microwave. Pour over the chocolate chips and let the mixture sit for a minute. Stir the chocolate chips and heavy cream until smooth. If the chocolate isn’t melting, place the bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on 50% power level.
  • To assemble the cookies, use a spoon to transfer about 1 teaspoon of chocolate ganache into the thumbprint of every cookie. Place a Mezzetta maraschino cherry (stem removed) on top of the ganache and serve.

Notes

Store assembled chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Unassembled cookies will last at room temperature for 5 days.
Cookie dough may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 133kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 72mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 166IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

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