Maple Spice Thumbprint Cookies Two Ways

Maple Spice Thumbprints | Veggie and the Beast

So many cookies. I can’t stop. I won’t stop.

I think I ate more sugar than I did anything else this weekend. Saturday morning I tried to perfect a recipe for the cookbook, only to end up with cookies that were hard as rocks and dry as…sand? Or something else really dry? The point = gross. Later that day I completely changed the recipe and tried again. I peeked in on the cookies while baking, and they looked FABULOUS – puffy, chewy, perfect little rounds. Time played a cruel joke on me 2 minutes later when I took them out of the oven and saw completely flat, bubbly, burnt-edge blobs. Nope.

Maple Spice Thumbprints | Veggie and the Beast

Since I had spent the day eating ill-fated dough and cookies, that night I coped by making a pan of my very favorite fudge brownies. It’s a cookbook recipe that I have made 4 times already, because it’s that good. It’s healthy(ish), but it’s still a dessert, so it worked well with my sugar-themed weekend.

Sunday I woke up and finally found some recipe-testing success. I based these beauties off of my ginger cookies, but I switched up the spices a bit, swapped molasses out for maple syrup, and instead of all white sugar I used a mix of white and dark brown. They’re buttery, chewy, and would be perfect if I just left them alone, but obviously I didn’t.

Right after I took them out of the oven, I used a muddler to press little circular dents into the top of each puffy cookie. Sure, you could use your thumb considering these are “thumbprint” cookies, but maybe you’re obsessed with uniformity and can’t handle an asymmetrical dent in the top of your circular cookies because it just looks so WRONG…I wouldn’t know anything about that though, cause that’s totally crazy. Yeah.

Maple Spice Thumbprints | Veggie and the Beast

Aaaaanyway, into that dent went either Nutella and sea salt or silky melted dark chocolate. The Nutella-filled cookies could be over-the-top sweet, but the hint of sea salt results in the perfect sweet-yet-salty flavor combo. The super dark chocolate gives the sugary cookie a little bitter edge, which is great if you’re into that sort of thing. Note: I’m totally into that sort of thing.

I tried to decide which filling to present you with, I really did. I kept taking bites out of different cookies (research, you know), and eventually I ended up combining the two. Then I realized I needed to put the cookies down, step away, and let you decide which version you want to make.

Maple Spice Thumbprints | Veggie and the Beast

The Nutella won’t really firm up, but the chocolate filling will harden in an hour or so. If you bite into the dark chocolate filling before it’s set, you’ll get chocolate drizzle all up in everything. Maybe that’s your goal, but I just felt I should warn you.

After I baked these cookies I went to my parent’s house for our annual family Christmas cookie baking extravaganza and assembled Bon Bon cookies for 2 hours.

Someone hand me a salad.

Maple Spice Thumbprint Cookies Two Ways
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft, chewy spice cookies sweetened with maple syrup, and filled with your choice of Nutella and sea salt or smooth dark chocolate.
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Serves: 32
  • 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
Nutella Filling:
  • 32 teaspoons Nutella
  • Sea salt
Dark Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 cup dark (70%+ cocoa) chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter, then add the white and dark brown sugars and beat until creamy. Mix in the egg, vanilla and maple syrup.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, making sure the flour is fully incorporated.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Fill a shallow bowl with ¼ cup sugar. Scoop up a tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, then roll in the sugar. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Bake 8-9 minutes. Immediately when they come out of the oven, use your thumb, a wine cork, or a muddle stick to put a circular indent in the center of each cookie.
Nutella Filling:
  1. Fill each cookie with 1 teaspoon Nutella and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Dark Chocolate Filling:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a low boil. Set a glass bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom is not touching the boiling water. Add the coconut oil and the chocolate chips to the bowl, and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  2. Spoon a little melted chocolate into the indent of each cookie. They can be eaten immediately, but the chocolate will take about an hour to set, so if you bite in beware of dripping chocolate!

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