Mocha almond caramel thumbprint cookies feature salted caramel sauce nestled into a tender mocha and roasted almond flavored cookie. They’re topped with melted chocolate for a sweet (and decorative!) touch. These thumbprint cookies can be made ahead, frozen, and filled prior to serving.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange almonds on a small rimmed sheet pan or cake tin and roast for 8-10 minutes, shaking them up halfway through, until they become fragrant and slightly darker in color. Keep a close eye as they can go from toasted to burnt quickly. Remove pan from the oven and immediately transfer almonds to a separate plate to cool completely.
To prepare the dough:
Add roasted almonds and 1/2 cup of the flour to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Pour out almond/flour mixture to a mixing bowl.
To the bowl add remaining 1 3/4 cup flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt and whisk to combine all of the dry ingredients well.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until light and creamy.
Add egg and vanilla extract and mix for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth.
Add dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and mix until just combined.
Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a cookie scoop (mine has a 1 1/2 tbsp capacity), scoop dough and roll into balls using your hands. Place cookies on the parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart from one another.
Bake for 4 minutes, then remove baking sheet from the oven. Using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon, press a deep indent into the center of each cookie. Return them to the oven and then bake for another 8-9 minutes, or until the exteriors are firm to the touch. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pipe salted caramel sauce into the wells of each cookie once they have cooled. The recipe estimates about 1/2 tbsp of caramel sauce per cookie. If your caramel sauce is coming right from the fridge you may wish to heat it slightly to make it easier to pipe.
Melt chocolate in your preferred method and drizzle over top of each cookie. Let chocolate harden before serving or storing.
Prep time includes 20 minutes for the almonds to roast and cool and 1 hour for the dough to chill.