Honey Caramel Thumbprints

Barabara Estabrook’s Honey Caramel Thumbprints was a runner-up recipe in our Sweet Eats Holiday Recipe Contest! Make a batch for your next holiday cookie exchange or set some out for friends and family to enjoy while visiting during the holidays.



Honey Caramel

  • 1/3 cup Sue Bee® Clover Honey
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries


  • 1/2 teaspoon Sue Bee® Clover Honey
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped quality white chocolate baking bar


For the caramel

  • In a heavy medium saucepan melt butter over low heat then stir in Sue Bee® honey, brown sugar and condensed milk. Increase heat to medium heat and cook, stirring until mixture begins to bubble.
  • Continue to cook, stirring constantly until caramel reaches 240 F when tested with a candy thermometer or until thickened – about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla then pour caramel into a medium bowl.
  • Cool 30 minutes then stir in cranberries and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • Line three large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

For the cookies

  • In a mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy, using an electric mixer.
  • Add confectioners sugar and extract; beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping down bowl and beaters.
  • Whisk flour and salt together then add to butter mixture in two additions, beating on low until a soft dough forms. Stir in nuts until evenly distributed.
  • Form 42 to 44 dough balls each about 1-1/4 inches in diameter and place 2 inches apart on lined sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in center of each ball.
  • Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, 18 minutes or until edges are golden, rotating sheets front to back half-way through baking time. Cool cookies completely on cookie sheets then fill each thumbprint with about 1 teaspoon honey caramel.
  • Place white chocolate in a small dish set over a pan of simmering water (water not touching pan) and let soften. Stir until smooth then remove from over water and stir in the Sue Bee® honey. Drizzle chocolate over cookies.
Aunt Sue's Pro Recipe Tip: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.
Aunt Sue's® Pro Recipe Tip: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.

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