Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies

Raise your hand if ever in your life you have struggled with a recipe. My hand is waaaaaay up there (well, as high up as it can get when you’re only 5’1). Sometimes it’s cupcake batter that runneth over and spills all over the inside of the oven. Sometimes it’s a cake that ends up looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sometimes it’s an experiment gone terribly (and inedible-y) awry. Sometimes it’s trying to recreate a favorite treat from a restaurant or bakery and you just.can’t.get.it.right. These have all happened to me (some, many times over!), but today, I’m focusing on that last one – recreating a favorite treat. Here in Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle is our large supermarket chain, and their bakery sells the most addicting cookies ever – Chocolate Thumbprints with Sprinkles.

These are, without question, my Chief Culinary Consultant’s favorite store-bought cookie and he has done a fabulous job of getting me completely addicted to them. Approximately one out of every two times we wander into the grocery store, we wander out with a dozen of those cookies. Then, we promptly polish them off in less time than I care to admit. For the longest time, I have been trying to recreate those little devils, and I’ve finally got something close!

The cookies from Giant Eagle are not crispy, but they’re not soft or chewy either; rather, they’re very tender. They crumble a little bit when you bite into them, but then they have some give. The cookie is only the first part of the equation; once we get past that part, it’s figuring out the frosting. To be quite honest, it tastes pretty much like chocolate frosting from a can, which normally I’m all “bleh” about, but oh my, on these cookies… I want to swim in it. Turns out, it’s pretty darn difficult to try to make frosting from scratch that tastes like frosting from a can. Shocking, right? I think that’s probably a good thing, but doesn’t make it any easier!

I have gone through no less than four or five iterations of these cookies, two batches of which needed to be thrown out when experiments went awry! I’ve played with different ingredients, ratios, and mixing methods and have taken copious amounts of notes on pretty much every thumbprint recipe known to man.

These babies are my pseudo-final (but-still-a-work-in-progress) version of the ever-famous Giant Eagle Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. They are close, but I’m dying to get it as close to exact as possible. The recipe, of course, is a “Giant Eagle bakery secret” so I’m on my own! If I make any changes to the recipe below in the future, I’ll add a date and an edit note so you know what’s been changed.

What recipes have left you stumped? Or scrubbing your kitchen from top to bottom? ;-)

One year ago: Fresh Strawberry Pie

Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate sprinkles

For the Chocolate Icing:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 tablespoons whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside. Pour the chocolate sprinkles into a small bowl; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Once it is mostly incorporated, slowly increase the speed back to medium-high and beat for another minute or so until a dough forms.

3. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball, and then roll it in the chocolate sprinkles and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing your cookies about 1½ inches apart on the baking sheet. Make a slight indentation with your thumb (or the back of a melon baller - my favorite tool for this task) on the tops of all the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, then make a deeper indentation in the middle, and bake for an additional 8 minutes. The cookies should not brown much at all around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate icing for the filling. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar or milk to achieve the desired consistency.

5. Once the cookies are cool, pipe some frosting into the middle of each cookie (or you can spoon it in). Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you share your own do-over moment at Facebook.com/Frigidaire, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, Frigidaire will help cover the costs for one lucky visitor to win the ultimate do-over.[/donotprint]

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119 Responses to “Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on June 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Wow, it looks like you worked really hard on this one!! It seems it was a success because they look amazing :) I’ve been stumped on so many recipes that they wouldn’t even all fit in one comment ha ha. One I can think of off the top of my head is rice noodles – they always come out a mushy mess!

    Reply

    • Ananya on June 20th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Oh my gosh, those are so pretty! I am only 10 yrs. old and I just got my interest in baking and cooking, and the moment I saw your website I immediately subscribed! Your icing skills are amazing and your determination is awesome. These look so good and I am going to try and get all the stuff I need to make these ASAP! Thanks for helping a beginner baker/cooker!
      ~A big fan

      Reply

      • Mackenzie on June 24th, 2012 at 8:57 am

        That’s so cool that your 10 and you are baking! I’m twelve, and started when i was 10 too! If you want some easy recipes and cool blogs, besides this one, here’s some that have some really cute stuff:

        Bakerella
        Pioneer Woman
        Cookies and Cups
        Glorious Treats
        Bake @ 350

        Hope you like them! :)

        Reply

        • Ananya on July 2nd, 2012 at 1:18 am

          Thanks Mackenzie! It’s nice to know that I am not the only kid on this blog.

          Reply

  2. Miriam @ Overtime Cook on June 15, 2012 at 1:23 am

    These cookies look so beautiful! I love thumbprint cookies, and don’t make nearly enough of them!

    The recipe I so wish to recreate are Stella D’oro Swiss Fudge Cookies!!

    Reply

  3. Spencer on June 15, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Looks absolutely delicious! Almost too good to eat infact.

    Reply

  4. Laurie on June 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

    here is a chocolate frosting recipe that is pretty good you might try for centers (don’t let the bad pics fool you)
    I love thumbrprints and can’t wait to try these
    :0) Laurie
    http://tinkerspiggies.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-know-this-is-repost-but-i-wanted-to.html

    Reply

  5. mireia on June 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I have no words!!!

    Reply

  6. corinne on June 15, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I think I see the Gourmet Cookie Book in one of your photos… I just can’t get along with that book. The way the recipes are written I ALWAYS end up leaving out a step or messing them up some other way. So frustrating!

    Reply

  7. Jen on June 15, 2012 at 6:17 am

    For years I have been trying to recreate the Giant Eagle thumbprint!! The chocolate ones are delicious, but I also love the regular icing ones. I can’t tell you the number of batches of both cookie and icing that have been inedible! If you ever come across an icing that is similar, post it :)
    In the meantime, can’t wait to try this one, and it’s good to know I’m not alone!

    Reply

  8. Tanya on June 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

    These are gorgeous! We don’t have these cookies in our area, but I wouldn’t be buying them in an instant! Your version looks so gooood! I’ve loved your recipes this week. Great job!

    Reply

  9. Katrina on June 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

    These look lovely! Yum!

    Reply

  10. Rodzilla on June 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I wonder if some of the consistency is due to them using more shelf stable and cheaper oils in place of butter – I like your ingredients better ;)

    Reply

  11. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on June 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Now these are some thumb prints!!! What a great looking cookie!

    Reply

  12. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on June 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

    As soon as I saw the first photo I thought about Giant Eagle’s thumbprints! Unfortunately I think their secret includes lots of hydrogenated oils.

    Reply

    • Fran on August 9th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      LOVE the giant Eagle thumbprints! I’m thinking the same. Just made a batch for trial & error for a friends wedding late Sept. Not really impressed. too dry. going back to my Russian teacake recipe I’ve had since the 70’s basically the same but less 1/2 c. flour. but it was worth the try.
      Enjoy ~~ Happy Baking!

      Reply

  13. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on June 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    These are so cute! And they look delicious which makes it all the better.

    Reply

  14. Betsy on June 15, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Look yummy! I make icing for brownies that looks like the icing on the picture or your grocery store cookies. Melt a couple ounces of unsweetened chocolate, half stick of butter. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Alternately add powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup at a time) with milk (tsp at a time), beating well with a spoon. You’ll know when to stop when it’s smooth and glossy.

    Reply

  15. Lisa from the 'Burgh on June 15, 2012 at 8:21 am

    OK, had to wipe the drool from my keyboard. I am not much of a cookie person (I know, I know…) but these look amazing. They remind me of the thumbprints from the former Kaufmann’s bakery (Macy’s still sells them). Can’t wait to try.

    Reply

  16. kborner on June 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I am from Pittsburgh and I know about these cookies. You brought to us the Lofthouse cookies and now these!!
    You are my favorite blogger!!! I also just made your sausage cheese stuffed peppers, my family still are talking about them and their deliciousiness!!

    Thanks for all you do, Summer vacation starts for me tonight so looking forward to happy cooking with your blog.

    Reply

  17. Suzanne on June 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I have a recipe that I have attempted several times. The first time I tried it was at Christmas, and I must admit I had a bit too much wine – however – the desert was absolutely amazing. I hazily remember having to add stuff, because the batter wasn’t what I thought it should be, and now I can’t remember what I did. I have tried several times since to make it again, with disastrous results, either overflowing the pan and making a huge bubbly mess in the oven, or having to cook it for three times as long to get it to hold together….if I could travel back in time, I would’ve written down my initial tipsy modifications. lol It is from one of my favourite TV personalities, Nigella Lawson. If you can get it right, it is absolutely fantastic! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/cranberry-orange-and-almond-pudding-recipe/index.html

    Reply

  18. Eileen on June 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Those look insanely delicious. As an avid baker who is always experimenting (like a mad scientist) I’ve had my share of baking defeats. I usually throw the towel in after the first time so I respect your determination! I have issues with cakes that I put booze in. They raise so beautifully in the oven and just before they are done baking they flop on me. Any ideas?

    Reply

  19. Katie on June 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Your cookies are beautiful and I intend to try them in the near future. Judging from the bakery cookies in the picture provided, the frosting looks like it is more fudge-based to achieve a smoother texture. Have you tried adding whipping cream and melted chocolate to make the frosting?

    Reply

  20. Kristin on June 15, 2012 at 9:25 am

    These look so good! Have you tried the ones from the Macy’s bakery downtown? They’ve been making them for decades and they are delicious!

    Reply

  21. Michele (also a brown eyed baker) on June 15, 2012 at 9:27 am

    LOVE those from Giant Eagle as well!!! Their thumbprint cookie base is very tender and reminds me more of a shortbread than the usual thumbrpint cookie. Let’s face it…it’s really all about the frosting on top! YUM! I can’t wait to try them.

    Reply

  22. Kerry on June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I had to laugh at the last line of your post. Just last night I was making strawberry jam that boiled over. We had strawberry jam all over the stove, down the front of the oven and the floor surrounding the stove. Somehow, I even managed to get jam in the oven door between the panes of glass … not sure how I’d even go about getting that cleaned.

    Reply

  23. Abby on June 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

    these are so completely FUN!!

    Reply

  24. Meghan @ After the Ivy League on June 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Yum! It looks like you did a great job recreating those cookies! My favorite bakery makes the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been dying to make them on my own…but I need more baking experience before I’d be ready to tackle that! Probably need to sample the cookies more too, couldn’t hurt :)

    Reply

  25. Mary Lynn on June 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

    When I saw the title of the post, the first thing I thought of was Giant Eagle! These are my husbands favorite cookie. I agree with you about the “canned icing”. I have been known to steal I bit of icing from his cookie! I’m going to bake these Saturday morning before the heatwave arrives. I’ll let you know the results. P.S. If you ever need taste testers, we are available. Have a great weekend.

    Reply

  26. Vicki Pieranunzi on June 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

    My favorite version of these cookies dates way back to Fifth Avenue Bakery in NuKen in the sixties. They also made the wafers for communion at m y church and I swear it was the same sweet-tasting dough as the cookie. The piece de
    resistance for theirs, however, was toasted almond slivers around the outside of the dough. Fabulous!

    Reply

  27. Jenny on June 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I’ve never been able to make White Mountain Frosting from my mother’s vintage Betty Crocker cookbook. :/ A local bakery makes something similar to these and I never did “get it” because I always thought thumbprint cookies were filled with jam. I always wondered if it was their creative way of using up leftover icing because it was usually just dabbed in there instead of piped. These are really pretty though.

    Reply

  28. Niki Blake on June 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Oh I can’t wait to try these…..these are my favorites!! Yippee! I think I am guilty of pinning almost every one of your recipes! You were even the topic of our latest book club meeting here in Frisco, TX and me and one other girl PIN you all the time….now so will the others as we sang your praises!! :) Thank you for another great recipe!~

    Reply

  29. Jennifer on June 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

    These are so, so pretty!

    Reply

  30. Kristy on June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Oh my gosh, this is divine.

    Reply

  31. Jenn on June 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    OH.My.Word… Your cookies are beautiful!! (Much prettier than the store bought ones!) I can’t wait to try them… I know EXACTLY the texture you are describing.. almost melt in your mouth, but soft, but a little crisp?!? Anywhoo… I do have a “fudgy” type frosting that tastes EXACTLY like canned stuff (which I stumbled across accidentally). I don’t use it often because it made me so MAD!! :0P I worked so hard on finding the “Perfect” homemade chocolate frosting and once I made it & topped a cake and cupcakes for a party…. No one believed I made it :( (I am serious it is that close to canned) but it is pretty darn tasty! Let me know if you are interested. And my almost everytime stumped recipe is the perfect white cake/cupcake that is not too “egg-y” (if that makes sense). I just can’t get it right!

    Reply

    • Dianna on July 13th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      I’m interested in that fudgy type frosting!!! Can you post it?

      Reply

    • kim on September 10th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      @Jenn : I have been searching for weeks for something.that is home made but tastes just like a canned frosting. Any chance you would be able to post?

      Reply

  32. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven on June 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    These are so adorable!!! Love the sprinkles!

    Reply

  33. Riley on June 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    These look just like the little thumbprint cookies that I grew up eating! I always loved how they turned to crumbs when you bit into them. I’ll have to try these this weekend!

    Reply

  34. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on June 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

    These look like they could be seriously addicting!

    Reply

  35. colleen @ Secrets fromthe Cookie Princess on June 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I saw the picture of these and was immediately taken back to days wandering the Giant Eagle bakery with my dad. I knew that’s what they were before I even saw the title! I love these little guys–the first cookie I go for on a wedding cookie table! Thanks for working so diligently to recreate them. Can’t wait to try them for myself.

    Reply

  36. sally @ sallys baking addiction on June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Michelle, I am in love with these little thumbprint cookies! Your photography is beautiful. I love recreating storebought cookies. I recently tried to recreate Berger cookies (fround here in Baltimore, MD) – they are ultra rich and super soft vanilla butter cookies with fudge icing – the icing is gooey but doesnt melt.. haha must be some weird chemicals in there but I hope to one day master them on my own. :)

    Reply

  37. DB-The Foodie Stuntman on June 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Glad you were able to work out something similar…

    Reply

  38. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on June 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I used to love these type of cookies!! Can’t wait to try out the recipe :D

    Reply

  39. Restaurant supply gal on June 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I really appreciate your humor in this post. If anyone has been in the kitchen long enough, they know what it is like to be “stumped” by a recipe. For me, it’s my grandma’s chicken and vegetable soup. I remember how great it tasted when I was a child and I wonder if it was the recipe I miss or just my grandma. Either way, I have a great time trying to get the recipe down.
    Thanks for sharing !

    Reply

  40. Jessen on June 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

    One thing that Never comes out right for me is Gnocchi, whether it be Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Regular Potato or Spinach/Potato Combo… It always seems to come out dense. I’ve tried food network Chef Recipes, Food blog recipes and it never comes out right. It’s probably just me!! lol

    Reply

  41. Laura Dembowski on June 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I relate to your post so much. I have been working on some blondies that I know will be awesome, but they are sooooo gooey to the point of being inedible. Attempt 4 is scheduled for next week. It’s nice to know it’s not just me who has colossal kitchen failures sometimes :)

    Reply

  42. Villy @ For the love of Feeding on June 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    They look so lovely!! And delicious I might add! :)

    Reply

  43. shawn @ I Wash...You Dry on June 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Oh my gosh, drool! These look so tasty!

    Reply

  44. Thaïs on June 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    These look fantastic. I’m definitely going to set some time aside to try this recipe out.

    Target’s bakery has these amazing red velvet sandwich cookies that I’ve never been able to replicate. I’ve tried red velvet cookie and sandwich cookie recipes and none of them have lived up to flavor.

    Reply

  45. Michele on June 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    These look fantastic!

    Reply

  46. JenHen on June 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    These look awesome and very similar to ones my dad gets a Vons in Central CA. One thing, though, is that the frosting on those is kind of chewy, which makes me think that corn syrup in the icing might be helpful. I wonder if you boiled the butter and some corn syrup together and then added the cocoa and other ingredients if that would help. Just a thought. Great job on these!

    Reply

  47. The Chocolate Priestess on June 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    The only way to improve would be to make the cookie chocolate, too.

    Reply

  48. Aly on June 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    In Baltimore we just have regular thumbprint cookies, but they are some of my favorites! I will have to try this and see if I like them better with sprinkles!

    Reply

  49. Erica on June 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Girl!! Love this! My Fiance’s mom is from Baltimore, home of the famous “Berger Bakery” cookie! These are his absolute FAVORITE cookies! (I thought to myself WTF is a Berger cookie??) Long story short, he had his mom bring us some and WOW! They are a cake like cookie with a heap of chocolate frosting coated on the top. I’m not sure if it’s actually a frosting or a ganache as it sets up pretty solid after a bit. King Arthur Flour had a recipe contest to see who could recreate these and I used the winning recipe to re-create them at home on Wed. night. Then seeing you re-created awesome cookies for your CCC, I dunno gave me warm fuzzies! Love your blog as it always inspires! My fiance loves your photos as he is a photographer! Thanks for the post! Xo

    Reply

  50. Jess on June 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    So excited to try these – the ‘Iggle ones are my favorites.

    Reply

  51. Tracey on June 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    We don’t have Giant Eagle up here so I’ve never had these, but they look awesome! I’m a sucker for anything with sprinkles :)

    Reply

  52. Kelly on June 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    These were my favorite thing about visiting grandma in Pittsburgh she had a never ending supply form Giant Eagle! Also the multi colored sugar cookies. I love the vanilla and chocolate ones equally.

    Reply

  53. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray on June 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Whoa…I have to come to Pittsburgh to get me some of these (the real ones or yours…whichever)! :)

    Reply

  54. caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    those are so pretty! i love the sprinkles on the outside!! thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  55. ACR on June 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I’ve been trying to create something similar myself. I found this recipe yesterday and I’m thinking this might work for the fudge center :)

    http://www.thechurchcookblog.com/2012/06/peanut-butter-fudge-blossoms.html

    Reply

  56. Mia on June 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I’m not the hugest cookie fan, except when it comes to a chewy chocolate chip. These look pretty awesome, though :)

    Memorial day weekend, I had many baking issues. None were exactly due to the recipes (except maybe the first two pie crusts I made: one burned, one so soggy it never really set up). Once I finally resolved my crust issues, I dropped an entire pie on the floor. From looking at my kitchen, you’d think I threw the pie in the air first. There was lemon curd and meringue all over my oven, cabinets, and floor. When I finally stopped fuming, I cleaned it up and went to bed :)

    Reply

  57. Lisa from the 'Burgh on June 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Ha ha ha — Store cookies for up to 5 days. Like they would last that long.

    Reply

  58. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on June 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I adore your version. Your frosting swirls are so pretty!

    Reply

  59. Leticia on June 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I love thumbprints! And my favorite thing to grill is shishkabobs! YUMMY!

    Reply

  60. Angelyn on June 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Oh boy, these look amazing!! Definitely going to have to try them soon!!

    Reply

  61. Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen on June 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    These just look completely dangerous…and absolutely frickin *FANTASTIC*!!!!

    Reply

  62. Joy on June 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Very Cute!

    Reply

  63. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on June 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    These look amazing! Too bad they aren’t a perfect match yet! Chocolate frosting is so hard to duplicate! I will have to try this one, it looks a lot more like what I am looking for. All the recipes I have tried are always way to light in color!

    Reply

  64. Gail on June 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh. MY. Word.
    These look like the “Chinese” cookies back home, which I am quite certain are not Chinese in origin.
    Sub the sprinkles with some chopped walnuts and they are Chinese cookies. I have been trying to nail that frosting FOREVER! Like canned frosting, without the ickiness of canned frosting.

    I can’t wait to try this one, forgive me if I roll mine in nuts :)

    Reply

  65. Dana Smith on June 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I’m sure someone already suggested it, but maybe you should get a “spy” job in the Giant Eagle Bakery to find out exactly how the sprinkle cookies are made! I’ve contemplated working at Panera, if for no other reason than to maybe get baking out of my system! :)

    Reply

  66. Diane on June 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    These look Amazing and mouth watering!!!
    Love the sprinkles!
    Will try these for sure!

    Reply

  67. Tamara on June 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    These look amazing…wasn’t planning on baking this weekend but I think I have just changed my mind.

    Kudos to you for taking the time to keep trying…I think they look better than the store bought ones.

    Reply

  68. Courtney G. on June 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Just made these for a party we are going to tomorrow. The thumbprint cookie tastes like a shortbread cookie and the icing is delicious. Not too sweet! I can’t wait to eat more!
    Courtney

    Reply

  69. Tracy on June 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I for one think these cookies look absolutely amazing. While I always enjoy the traditional version with jam, I just love this chocolatey version!!

    Reply

  70. Clarissa on June 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, they make a cookie like this at our grocery store in Chicago-Dominicks, which is affiliated with Safeway, called Susan cookies. They’re amazing, the crumbly cookie is a great balance for the rich fudgy top. We’re just missing the sprinkles, which would make them even more amazing, I love the texture of sprinkles. THis was just added to my “to bake” list, once my apartment is cool enough!

    Reply

  71. Emily @ Life on Food on June 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Oh man these look way better than any jam thumbprint cookie I have ever had. Glad you finally could create it at home. They look yummy!

    Reply

  72. Amber, RD on June 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    These look amazing!!
    I am glad to hear that even you have recipe disasters! I like to think of myself as pretty proficient in the kitchen, but I have had my share of kitchen screw-ups! Just the other day I tried some cinnamon sugar cookies that ended up like a messy cookie sheet cake. Oops!

    Reply

  73. Jocelyn on June 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Okay. These look delicious!! My dad loves thumbprint cookies and I love chocolate. I should make these tomorrow for fathers day!

    Reply

  74. SueAnn on June 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    When I read your description of this cookie, the first thing that popped into my mind was “vinegar”, particularly cider vinegar. I’ve seen it used in recipes before when the crumb was tender. (I’m a self-confessed cookbook junkie). They look wonderful, and are probably better than the store ones, you’re just used to the others!

    Reply

  75. Annamaria @ bakewell junction on June 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Your cookies look wonderful. Don’t give up; keep looking for the taste and texture you’re looking for. I’ve been looking for an Irish Soda Bread recipe that results in similar product to the one I remember from a co-worker’s mom. I worked with that person while I was in college and that was too long ago to count the years.

    Reply

  76. Marie on June 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I made these yesterday and they turned out really, really good. We don’t have Giant Eagle but I would bet that no one would challenge me if I told them that I bought these cookies at a bakery. I froze them and will bring some to work and some to a party next weekend.

    Reply

  77. Julie on June 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    These little cookies are soooo cute! And they look amazingly good! Thanks for sharing this recipe, definitely something to try!

    Reply

  78. Sarah on June 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for the recipe. I too was raised on giant iggle thumb prints. I’m not as tempted by them now since they switched to the glaze on top. I miss the frosting swirls that would always get smashed in the box ( I guess that is why they switched…) I thought the cookie part was better a than giant eagle’s. Not sure if giant eagle uses much butter in their baked goods these days.

    Reply

  79. Karissa on June 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I’m a transplant in Boston having grown up in Pittsbugh. These cookies are my absolute favorite from Giant Eagle. The frosting is the perhaps the best part of these cookies and I’m not even partial to frosting! My craving for these is now unwavering and will most definitely be getting some on my next visit to da burgh.
    For now I will try your recipe and hope for the best!! Thank you!

    Reply

  80. Carolette on June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I grew up in Pittsburgh but have lived in Atlanta for 20 years. One of the first things I do when I get home to visit is go to Giant Eagle and get these cookies! Thanks for the recipe to try!

    Reply

  81. Amanda on June 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I love Giant Eagle’s thumbprint cookies! Yours look exactly like them. Putting this recipe on my holiday cookie list for this year.

    Reply

  82. Javelin Warrior on June 22, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I’d take these over Giant Eagle’s cookies any day – they look positively scrumptious (and I’ve never been a big fan of GE’s cookies anyway)… I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and always excited to see what you’ll create next…

    Reply

  83. Manali on June 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

    These look fabulous! Waiting to try them. gonna make them soon! :D

    Reply

  84. Michelle on June 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I have a thumbprint cookie that I love from a Texas-based supermarket chain (United). I have looked all over for a recipe, and while theirs don’t have sprinkles, the cookie itself looks very similar to yours. Will definitely have to try this one! Thanks!

    Reply

  85. Valery on June 29, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Hi,
    I would like to make these cookies soon. My one concern is about the chocolate sprinkles, won’t they melt when u bake them together with the cookies? Hoping for an honest reply.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 29th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Valery, No, they don’t completely melt. As you can see from the photo, they pretty much retain their same size/texture.

      Reply

  86. Chelsea Bakes on July 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Michelle, longtime reader but first-time commenter! I just wanted to thank you so much for developing this recipe and posting about it. I am a native Pittsburgher now living in Wisconsin and this post brought back SO many wonderful memories! I just baked up a batch and oh, they’re absolutely perfect! I even made the vanilla kind too :) (http://bit.ly/KV1XbF) Thank you again for inspiring me and making me homesick (in a good way!). Love your blog–cheers!

    Reply

  87. Kristin on July 13, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Thank GOODNESS that I found your site!! I’m a PA girl living out of state trying to explain to my British husband the intricate nature of my baking roots. The stores out here do not compare and he looked at me like I was crazy when trying to explain what a chinese cookie was :)

    Reply

  88. WindRN on October 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you so much for the recipe. They turned out great! I was looking for a recipe that would emulate the cookies I buy from my local Safeway. I actually think these are better! The only thing I changed was that I used a different icing recipe. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 1st, 2014 at 2:42 am

      What icing did you use? I love the Safeway cookies!

      Reply

  89. Ann on November 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I adore Giant Eagle cookies and had missed them terribly…had to google it and came up with you…no other recipe out there comes close…this one does. Being in Florida, I can’t get my Giant Eagle and these are now the next best thing. I found the cooking time to be a bit long for my oven..so next time around shorter for me. That’s the only change I’ve made (other than doing their rainbow sprinkle and vanilla glaze version too) I’ve only shared these cookies with a few people and everyone of them has asked me for the recipe. You’ve got a winner here….can’t thank you enough.

    Reply

  90. Lisa on December 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I use a recipe my mom gave me and I don’t know how the cookie compares to GE’s. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of theirs, even though I pass one everyday! The recipe I use is 1c butter, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c light corn syrup, 2 egg yolks and 2 1/2 c flour. I also wanted to add that one year I made a cake for my friends daughter who is allergic to dairy, soy and nuts. For the frosting I used the soy free and dairy free earth balance margarine and rice milk instead of the traditional butter and milk. It was a chocolate frosting and when I tasted it I swore it tasted like the frosting you buy. It was actually pretty very tasty. I will be trying this with my thumbprints this year.

    Happy Baking!

    Reply

  91. Kim on February 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Hi Browneyedbaker! I am a Pittsburgh girl and also LOVE the Giant Eagle thumbprints, but can’t seem to recreate them. However, I made a personal discovery recently – cake flour! (used it before for cakes but not cookies) I also love the colorful “Chinese cookies” from Giant Eagle, but couldn’t find a recipe for them either. Well, recently I found a knock-off recipe for Paradise Bakery sugar cookies and they call for cake flour in lieu of all purpose. They taste damn near spot on like the Chinese cookies! Now, I’m wondering if the cake flour would make a difference in the thumbprints? It gives the cookie a crumbly, almost “flour-y” texture, yet soft, which those have. Hmmmmm. Something to think about. Also, the fudge icing on the thumbprints- can’t for the life of me recreate it! looked for a recipe everywhere, but it ends up being too “chocolate buttercream” or chocolate syrupy. Thought it would be like a ganache, but no. I’m stumped! Well, anyway, I love your recipes- keep up the good work. Happy baking!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 16th, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Hi Kim, Thanks so much for the tips, I’m going to give that a try! I’ll report back :)

      Reply

    • Nicole on June 2nd, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Kim,
      I am on the hunt for a recipe for those Giant Eagle Chinese Rainbow cookies! Could you share your Paradise Bakery find that is similar? Once I have those conquered, I just need to recreate Eat n Park’s honey sauce and their ranch dressing! Then, I will be a happy Pittsburgher living in the south!

      Reply

  92. Michelle H. on March 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I buy these all the time here at our Giant Eagle in Cleveland. I swear I taste a hint of cherry or almond in the cookie which is why I love them so much. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to give it a try.

    Reply

  93. Andrea on July 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I have always loved these cookies from the bakery. Figured they were much too difficult to make. Then I stumbled onto this recipe. Tried it immediately. LOVED them! Mine were a tad bit salty; but that’s because I used salted butter. Next time I’ll use unsalted, and can’t wait for the next time. Delish! So happy to have access to this recipe (and website)!

    Reply

  94. Jen on August 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I LOVE the Giant Eagle thumbprints so I tried this recipe as soon as I found it. My dough came out really crumbly. It was so crumbly that I could roll the cookies into balls. I had to pack them into balls. I also could not get the sprinkles to stick. What did I do wrong? I thought I followed the recipe exactly . . .

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 7th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Jen, I’m sorry you had some trouble with the recipe. Unfortunately, due to all of the variables that can go into baking a single recipe, a lot of times it’s virtually impossible for me to pinpoint what might have caused a problem since I wasn’t there with you. I hope you’ll give them another try!

      Reply

      • Megan on March 1st, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I had the exact same problem. :(. So disappointing!!

        Reply

  95. Andrea on August 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    This recipe was perfect!! These cookies are my husband’s favorite and I just made them for his birthday. I made mine with rainbow sprinkles and used a glazed frosting instead, since that’s what he wanted. I can’t wait to try the chocolate frosting next time! They are even better (for obvious reasons) than Giant Eagle’s cookies =)

    Reply

  96. Brittany on November 5, 2013 at 10:32 am

    The chocolate icing from Baked’s black and white cookie recipe might work well with these:)

    Reply

  97. SL Coups on November 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    These cookies did not taste like the store brand. Cooking time was way too long and cookies were hard. Highly disappointed.

    Reply

  98. Stefanie on December 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I moved from Pittsburgh 10 years ago and these were always my favorite from Giant Eagle. My mom still brings them to me when she visits and buys them when we come home. I’m going to try these!

    Reply

  99. Becky on December 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I’m so excited to find this recipe and try these. As a former Pittsburgher I miss the thumbprint cookies at Kaufmann’a (macy’s) and these look very similar!

    Reply

  100. Nancy on December 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I am making these today and had to taste test the not-so-perfect ones–delicious, even without the topping! I am curious if you decided to tweak the icing recipe or if you stayed with the one you list with the recipe? Thanks for all of the great recipes!

    Reply

    • kristin on March 12th, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Thanks for sharing~ I’m getting the ingredients to make these. I found a cookie glaze that might work, it looks just like the store bought picture.
      2 oz chocolate chips
      2 T unsalted butter
      1 T corn syrup
      Melt in microwave 30 secs. Stir until smooth

      Reply

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