These little desserts are everything you love in a german chocolate cake, but in cookie form! Our german chocolate cookies feature a rich chocolate thumbprint cookie, toasted coconut and pecan filling and drizzle of chocolate!
originally published 7.22.2020
Because I’ve never really loved cake, one of my favorite adventures in baking has always been creating cookies with the flavors of popular cakes!
While I love the idea of german chocolate cake (chocolate, pecans, coconut — what’s not to love?), the cake is traditionally made with sweet baking chocolate and then topped with a sugary frosting — a combination that can be a bit too much for me. That being said, these german chocolate cake cookies will still satisfy any sweet tooth but do go slightly easier on the sugar, which allows the toasted pecans and coconut to really shine!
what is german chocolate?
Some people are surprised to find that german chocolate cake is not, in fact, German in origin! The cake was originally named German’s chocolate cake after the brand of baking chocolate used — german sweet chocolate created by Samuel German.
While you can still buy german’s sweet baking chocolate today, it’s quite difficult to find outside of the states. So, as with many german chocolate cakes made these days, we’ll forgo the original sweetened chocolate in favor of unsweetened cocoa powder for our cookie base.
chocolate thumbprint cookies
The chocolate thumbprint cookies have a consistency that’s more cake-like than most cookies — perfect for cake-inspired cookies!
To make the indent, roll the dough into balls and then use the back of a teaspoon (or your thumb) to make a little dent for our delicious coconut pecan filling. If the indent puffs up during baking, you can just lightly press it down again when the cookies come out of the oven.
toasted coconut pecan filling
For the traditional german chocolate filling, I whipped up a batch of homemade custard using evaporated milk and mixed in toasted coconut flakes and pecans. The filling can be made in three easy steps:
- Toast the coconut flakes and pecans.
- Heat the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolk and butter in a small pot until the mixture thickens.
- Stir in the coconut flakes and pecans.
Then you can immediately fill your cooked and cooled cookies!
Finally, because german chocolate cake is occasionally garnished with chocolate frosting, I added a quick drizzle of chocolate on the finished cookies. While the chocolate garnish is definitely not necessary, I do like to add it for a bit of embellishment when I’m making these cookies for friends and family.
german chocolate cookies: FAQs
Chilling the dough prior to baking will help with this. And if the indent disappears a bit while baking, simply press it down again right when the cookies come out of the oven.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Yes! I store the filled and chocolate drizzled cookies in the freezer for up to three months.
For more cookie inspiration, make sure to check out these recipes!
- malted chocolate chip cookies
- chocolate dulce de leche cookies
- chocolate chip marzipan cookies
- pryaniki | russian honey spice cookies
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