I do this one stupid thing.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

I mean, it’s really stupid.

I keep watching this dumb movie… this Dear John movie… secretly hoping that the ending is going to change every single time. It’s on TV like three times a week (just to spite me) and seriously… someone should have been smart enough to change the awful ending by now. Each and every time the credits start to roll I want to throw the remote straight at the screen and belt “but whyyyyyyy?!?”

Yeah. Maybe you’ve heard me mention this before? Pretty sure I complained about it on Twitter, uh… like 14 months ago? And maybe even again on Facebook about 7 months ago. Are you thinking someone needs to GET A LIFE?!

Me too.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

Yet I can’t stop. Every time I spy it on Starz or Skinemax I turn it on and torture myself.

Like yesterday morning. I sipped tea, which I loathe. I slurped cereal, which I love. I sunk deeper and deeper and deeper into my dreamy fort of blankets on the couch. I stared longingly into Channing Tatum’s eyes.

Then BAM! Same ending.

But then I got off my arse and made these s’mores cookies and righted my life again, because no movie’s gonna hold me down. Is that a word? Righted? It is now.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

The minute December hits, I immerse myself in Mother Lovett’s recipes and refuse to come up for air. What can I say? I have a thing for the scent of musty moth balls and stained, yellowed paper. It has so much more… character than that deficient Dear John.


Thumbprints were her thing. She was like, alllllll about the thumbprints. Not gonna lie – they have never been my fave. I’m more of an oooey and gooey and chewy chocolate chip cookie kind of gal, and not so much of a tender crumb cookie that someone pokes their (most likely) dirty fingers in mid-bake and fills with fruit, which we all know is NOT dessert. You hear??

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

But these days? I eat them because they taste like her. In a non-creeptastic way. While baking they smell like her. In a non-old person way. And the mere act of seeing them on a holiday cookie tray reminds me of her. Errr, well… reminds me of how she used to store thumbprints in her freezer inside reused aluminum foil packets, bringing them out two years later and placing them on the tiny ceramic leaf tray that sat on her coffee table. They resembled the lovely consistency of stone.

The fact is, I still can’t believe that it’s been nearly four years since I stood in her kitchen and listened to her rip me a new one because I “didn’t do the thumbprint right!”

Apparently there was only one way to do it.

So I still make them and probably do that part wrong. Every year.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

And even though I’ll enjoy a bite or two of that traditional thumbprint recipe, let’s be honest: you just KNOW I’ve been dying to trash these up. I’ve gone back and forth for weeks deciding between peanut butter chocolate thumbprints or white chocolate thumbprints or cheesecake thumbprints or tiramisu thumbprints or anything-but-fruit thumbprints.

But I’m pretty sure I hit the thumbprint jackpot here. And I may never say the word thumbprint again.

And no.. I will never stuff my thumbprints (darnit) with fruity stuff. Because, uh, who in the world emotionally eats fruit every time John and Savannah STILL don’t end up together? Not I.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com


Chocolate Fudge S’mores Thumbprints

Yield: makes about 20 cookies


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 mini chocolate chips
1/2 batch of marshmallow frosting
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, or more if desired


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy (scraping the bowl when needed), for about 3-4 minutes. Add in egg yolk and vanilla, and beat for another 1-2 minutes until combined. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture and gradually increase the speed for the dough to come together, again scraping down the sides to combine. One batter has come together, fold in chocolate chips.

Roll into balls that are about 1 inch in diameter and set on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating a dent. Place the cookies back in the oven and bake for 5-6 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

One cool, use a spoon or butter knife and add 1-2 teaspoons of frosting into the cookies. Top with a hefty sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs. Store in an air-tight container. My grandma used to freeze her thumbprints, so I’m pretty sure these can be frozen if placed in a single layer and wrapped tightly.

Notes: I used a bit of extra milk (2-3 tablespoons) to thin out my usual marshmallow frosting. If you are making these ahead of time and plan to freeze, I don’t suggest that as the frosting is a bit runnier. If you are making them a day or two in advance, thinning the frosting should be fine.

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints I howsweeteats.com

Take that Dear John!

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199 Responses to “Chocolate Fudge S’mores Thumbprints.”

  1. #
    Tracy — December 5, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Even though I love me some jam thumbprints, I am also loving your non-fruit version! Sometimes a girl just needs some chocolate, and these are it. Yum.


  2. #
    Riann — December 5, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Oh my word, these look amazing! S’mores are possibly my favorite thing in the world. It looks like I’ll be making room for just one more batch of cookies on my holiday baking list. Thank you for the awesome recipe, Jessica!


  3. #
    Marie Baars — December 5, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    ohh yum! I make thumb prints with a vanilla dough and roll them in crushed peanut brittle and then fill them with caramel and then drizzle them with chocolate and a touch more crushed peanut brittle. Its over the top and a heck of a lot of work for like…2 dozen cookies.
    and ugh can you BELIEVE that she marries that older guy!? Like…WHaaaattttt? They need to make another one with a better ending. I need closure.


  4. #
    KB — December 5, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    I may or may not pin everything you post on my Pinterest. Thanks for always putting up hilarious stories with your recipes too! It makes me feel like we’re friends! :)

    KB @ kisslaughanddream.blogspot.com


  5. #
    Mallory — December 5, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    Dude. I think these cookies should be torched on the top before being consumed so the marshmallow is all crispy on top and gooey. Although since its marshmallow frosting maybe it wouldn’t work right. But that is my stroke of genius for the day.


  6. #
    Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn — December 5, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    Have I ever mentioned that you’re my favorite recipe concoctor. Cause you are.


  7. #
    Maria — December 5, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    Okay, number 1: I have been reading your blog daily for the last four months and I LOOOOVE it. Thank you for being awesomely amazing. It totally makes my day.

    Number 2: I’ve been making your stuff at LEAST once a week. I think up excuses to make excessive amounts of desserts like “my coworkers would absolutely do the same for me if they read this recipe…and we work so hard…” I have owed you a million thank yous for your generosity :)
    I totally made these tonight and ate them for dinner. No, I don’t regret it for one second. The thumb printing is tricky. How do you do it without burning your finger?


    • Jessica — December 6th, 2011 @ 7:54 am

      You just gotta do it quick!!


      • Allison — April 23rd, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

        I actually just did mine (they are still in the oven!!), and it was too hot for me, so I grabbed my 1/4 tsp measure and used that. They look decent, although next time I might use the 1/2 tsp, will allow for more yummy icing!

  8. #
    Rachel — December 5, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    Ooooh, I love that last picture.


  9. #
    Shelley — December 6, 2011 @ 12:18 am

    Made your snicker doodles today and my kids think I’m the BOMB! Maybe next week I’ll make these–They will lose their minds!


  10. #
    Michelle — December 6, 2011 @ 12:20 am

    I love all your stories, especially the ones about your Mother Lovett as they remind me of my Grandmother and the things she use to do in the kitchen. Sorry but I love the fruit thumbprints, but only with seedless raspberry jam, and I have a thumbprint recipe that I will be listing on my blog this week for out of this world cream cheese thumbprints, which if you like cream cheese frosting, you gotta love them.
    I can’t wait to try out this yummy sounding cookies and I think I’ll also try them with PB frosting as a filling too. Thanks for the suggestion.


  11. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — December 6, 2011 @ 1:19 am

    I love this! And um… that movie makes me cringe/ get all angry tears EVERY SINGLE TIME. So yeah… double moving in. Yes – I wash dishes!! xx


  12. #
    Sonnet Gal — December 6, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    Love the post and the recipe and the pictures! And that last picture, with the tree in the backyard, is amazing!


  13. #
    Becki's Whole Life — December 6, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    I have never seen Dear John…but now I guess I won’t go there- I don’t think I could take it:-)

    These look scrumptious. I actually kind of like thumbprints, but these sound extra yummy and completely adorable. A very nice twist with the sprinkled graham cracker on top. I have to try your marshmallow frosting.


  14. #
    Misty — December 6, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    If you think the movie ended badly, you should read the book! It’s much worse. By the time I closed the book, I was emitting cries of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! WHY???????????????” from my tear-streaked face!


  15. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — December 6, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    I feel the same stinkin’ way about Message in a Bottle. I keep watching hoping I’ll get to the end and he won’t die. WORST love story EVER. Like in the serious history of forever!


  16. #
    Amanda — December 6, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Gorgeous Jessica! And I have not seen Dear John… so I dont know the depths of your sorrow. But I do know that you can pretty much make any recipe an outstanding recipe. You rock!


  17. #
    Candice — December 6, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    These look so yummy! Definitely going to try these. And I think righted IS a real word!


  18. #
    MandyLynn — December 6, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    You seriously might be my favorite person ever.


    • MandyLynn — December 6th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

      AND you live in Pittsburgh! That is awesome, because so do I. +1!


  19. #
    Paula @ lipstick and lunges — December 6, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Wow, those look amazing! My husband loves smores so I might need to try this recipe. I don’t like traditional thumbprint cookies either, I’m all about the gooey chocolate!


  20. #
    Amanda — December 6, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    That is so funny. I had that same conversation with my friend about The Way We Were. Everytime I watch that movie I think it will end differently. Maybe this time Katie will be a bit more forgiving of their difference in upbringing. Maybe this time Hubbell won’t take the safe route (and in my opinion the jerky route)…maybe.

    Last time it was on, I specifically called her to tell her that I wouldn’t get sucked in this time! And I didn’t…so there is hope.


  21. #
    Paige — December 6, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    I AM making these for the Christmas party on Saturday.

    I might change the frosting to homemade marshmallow fluff. Is that okay?

    I’m so excited now xD.


  22. #
    Sasha — December 6, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    You wanna know what’s worse than having to experience the MOVIE ending of Dear John? Reading through the amazing book and experiencing THAT ending. Horrifying and even worse, if you can imagine. *spoiler alert* The sick dude who stole her away does not die, he lives because of John’s donation and the surgery they performed. THEN him and Savannah live happily ever after. At the very end John is sitting on a hill overlooking her house to see if she comes out and looks at the moon, AND SHE DOES. and then he leaves. Like I said… horrifying.


    • Lauren — December 7th, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

      I was going to respond the same thing Sasha! That book did a number one me…yet I read them all and I love Nicholas Sparks.


  23. #
    Penny — December 6, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    These look great (and your story is hilarious!) I’m going to make them next week as part of my holiday cookies. Can I ask you is it 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or 1/2 bag of mini chocolate chips? Thanks very much!


    • Jessica — December 6th, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

      1/2 cup!


  24. #
    Mad Runner — December 6, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    Your story about the 2 year old cookies reminded me of my Grandma Hanna’s crumbly fudge and stale Peeps. I had no idea that fudge was supposed to be soft and Peeps weren’t crunchy. Seriously funny. Thanks for brightening my day and making me remember my Grandma.


  25. #
    Heather — December 6, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Yuuuuummmm… Dirty Thumb Cookies! haha! I just wanted to say that this post made me laugh out loud. In my office. When I’m supposed to be working and not reading blogs about food. And thinking about food and not the giant stack of paper on my desk.

    And my reaction at the end of Dear John was pretty much the same as yours – which quickly turns into a “well – that totally SUCKED” reaction. But that’s because “apparently” I have a black hole where my heart should be. Not that I’m ticked that they didn’t end up together or anything. *sniff*

    I need a cookie.


  26. #
    Rebecca — December 7, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

    I LOVE Smores so these look awesome. One issue, my son is allergic to dairy. I think I can undairy the cookies but I doubt my dairy free butter would taste good in the frosting. Could you just use marshmallow creme?


    • Jessica — December 7th, 2011 @ 10:59 pm



  27. #
    Gayle — December 8, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    You. Are. Not. Alone. I’m such a dork that I get sad every time Julia Roberts dies in Steel Magnolias. And when Goose dies in Top Gun. Every time I expect a different outcome. Every time it makes me cry. Without fail. So I watch When Harry Met Sally.


  28. #
    Heather — December 13, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    Totally made these on the weekend, and brought these to work on Monday to share with my co workers and everyone thought there were so good. I have people asking where I got the recipe from, you have become a star in my circle of friends!!!
    Thanks for the yummy recipe!


  29. #
    Alexandra — December 14, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    Question about storing these, as I’d like to make them for a cookie swap party: does the frosting harden at all? (I guess my real question is, can they be stacked? Or should I just get a bunch of containers and store them all in one level)


    • Jessica — December 14th, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

      If you make the marshmallow frosting as called for, it will harden like buttercream – however you’d have to let them sit for hours before packing to let them harden. I thinned mine out a bit with milk which is why mine is a little runnier!


  30. #
    Alyssa — December 17, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Those pictures are amazing! Definitely making these with my friends this weekend, thanks!


  31. #
    Stacy — December 17, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Do you think I could make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the fridge? I’m trying to make all my dough today and then bake in small batches throughout the next week.


    • Jessica — December 17th, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

      I think you probably can. That’s actually what I’m doing today too!


  32. #
    Stacey — December 21, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    Is it 1/2 cup of mini choc chips? or half a bag?


  33. #
    crisskimball — December 22, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    I made these EXACTLY to the recipe and they didn’t rise. Are you sure there wasn’t supposed to be baking soda in here?


    • Jessica — December 22nd, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

      Yep I’m sure. They are based off of this recipe: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2009/12/thumbprint-cookies/. No baking soda or powder. But thumbprints aren’t technically supposed to rise – you roll them in a ball and pressing your thumb into them helps shape them.


  34. #
    Diane (Created by Diane) — December 29, 2011 @ 2:02 am

    Love the cookies, the movie though I thought it was implied that they were meeting at the cafe and will be together. I had a much longer comment that got deleted on my iPad so…please don’t let me think any differently or I’ll cry. Ps I tweeted to Channing to see if he’d like to help:) us with the ending, I’m not holding my breath, but no matter what if he replies back I will be teary :)


  35. #
    Jillian — February 5, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    I loved this recipe, thank you!

    Question, are they just as good if you double the recipe?


    • Jessica — February 5th, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

      Yes they should be! I usually quadruple this recipe at Christmastime.


  36. #
    Jay — December 15, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    Should any adjustments be made if I’m cooking at high altitude (say 5280 feet)? Thanks!


  37. #
    S. Hoover — December 21, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    what is 1/2 mini chocolate chips, did you forget to add cup



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