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Desserts, Stuffing Stuff

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

by Nick

For each recipe during cookie week this week, I’m trying to keep a flavor or something from the previous day’s recipe. So I made peppermint whoopie pies yesterday to go with the peppermint bark on Monday. Today’s recipe uses the chocolate from the whoopie pies to make these ganache filled cookies!

Why did I organize the week like this? I have no idea. I like patterns I guess. The real question though is what will I keep from this recipe and use tomorrow?!

These are called thumbprint cookies, but I made mine pretty large so they are more like palm print cookies.

Even if you make these smaller, they pack a punch! The ganache filling is pretty rich and the chocolate and vanilla flavors are really cranked to 10.

Yield
Makes 40.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

  • The cookie: (A Martha Recipe.)
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (high quality)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/3 Cups sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies in
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Ganache: (Adapted from a different Martha recipe.)
  • This makes a perfect amount of ganache for the cookies
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp and cut into pieces

Directions

1) Sift flour and cocoa powder.

2) In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), mix together your butter and sugar. Cream these two things together until they are light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Then add your vanilla, egg yolks, and cream.

3) Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add dry ingredients. Mix it just until everything is combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, but don’t over mix it.

4) Measure 1 tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Roll each ball of dough in sugar to give it some nice texture.

5) Lay out these balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6) Using the back of a metal spoon, make a thumbprint in each cookie.

7) Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through for even baking.

8) When you take the cookies out, they may have puffed a bit during baking. If that happens, take your divet-creating device and softly press back into the cookies, reforming the thumbprint. This is another reason why you wouldn’t want to use your actual thumb.

9) For ganache, combine honey, cream and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. If using extract instead of beans, use approximately ½ Teaspoon.

10) Bring these ingredients to a simmer in a pot and make sure to stir them to dissolve the honey. Once everything is dissolved, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes to let the vanilla get infused. No need to wait if you are using extract.

11) Roughly chop up chocolate and add it to mixing bowl.

12) If you left your cream mixture to rest for 20 minutes, bring it back to a simmer over medium heat (be careful not to burn the cream). Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.

13) Let it sit for a minute to start melting the chocolate and then mix on medium speed until everything is melted and combined.

14) While the mixer is running on medium, add in butter, a few chunks at a time. Keep mixing for a few more minutes until the mixture is slightly cooled. It will be very silky and smooth and have the consistency of a loose frosting.

15) Spoon that mixture into thumbprint cookies.

16) Let them sit at room temperature and the ganache will firm up even more. It will end up getting pretty thick.

Making the cookies

Martha says to sift dry ingredients here and I think it’s important just because of the cocoa powder. It has a tendency to clump up if you don’t sift the stuff. So start by sifting your flour and cocoa powder. You can sift your salt too if you want, but that’s a bit OCD.

I like to sift.

I like to sift.

You should end up with a pretty little mound. Just by looking at it, it’s pretty easy to tell why sifting will make a better cookie.

Making mountains of awesome.

Making mountains of awesome.

In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), mix together your butter and sugar. Cream these two things together until they are light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Then add your vanilla, egg yolks, and cream.

Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add your dry ingredients. Mix it just until everything is combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, but don’t overmix it! We’re making cookies, not bread. Gluten is not your friend.

You’re final dough will be pretty dry and sturdy.

A thick dough.

A thick dough.

This next step is where I veered from the original recipe a bit. I didn’t want tiny little cookies, although you can definitely go that route. I wanted a more normal-sized cookie. Also, I didn’t really feel like making 90 of anything so I went with a bigger version.

I used about 1 tablespoon-sized balls of dough for mine. Roll each ball of dough in sugar to give it some nice texture.

Rolled in sugar.

Rolled in sugar.

Then lay out these balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should be able to fit about 18 or so on a baking sheet.

Like an army.

Like an army.

Next is making the thumbprint. You could actually use your thumb for this, but it’s a bit more uniform if you use the back of a spoon (I used a metal tablespoon.) If you are making the smaller version you can use the end of a wooden spoon to get the desired divet.

Talk about uniform!

Talk about uniform!

Baking

Bake these at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through for even baking, especially if you are like me and using an oven from the 40’s.

When you take the cookies out, they may have puffed a bit during baking. If that happens, take your divet-creating device and softly press back into the cookies, reforming the thumbprint. This is another reason why you wouldn’t want to use your actual thumb.

Making the Ganache

I’ve only made ganache a handful of times. Basically it’s just beating together warm cream and chopped chocolate until it’s smooth. This version has some bonus ingredients though that really kick it up a notch.

You'll need some butter too.

You’ll need some butter too.

Start this recipe by combining your honey, cream and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. If you need some help with the vanilla bean, check out my post on homemade coffee liqueur. If you don’t have beans, you could use extract, but go light on it. I’d say maybe 1/2 Teaspoon of extract would be enough. I highly recommend the bean though.

Bring these ingredients to a simmer in a pot and make sure to stir them to dissolve the honey. Once everything is dissolved, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes to let the vanilla get infused. No need to wait if you are using extract.

This smells amazing.

This smells amazing.

Meanwhile, roughly chop up your chocolate and add it to your mixing bowl. If you left your cream mixture to rest for 20 minutes, bring it back to a simmer over medium heat (be careful not to burn the cream). Then pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.

Let it sit for a minute to start melting the chocolate and then mix away on medium speed until everything is melted and combined.

Thick and decadent.

Thick and decadent.

While the mixer is running on medium, add in your butter, a few chunks at a time. Keep mixing for a few more minutes until the mixture is slightly cooled. It will be very silky and smooth and have the consistency of a loose frosting.

Drip. Drip.

Drip. Drip.

The next step should be obvious enough. Spoon that mixture into your thumbprint cookies!

Let them sit at room temperature and the ganache will firm up even more. It will end up getting pretty thick. You can definitely turn one of these cookies upside down and it won’t budge.

A few cracks are okay.

A few cracks are okay.

I took these cookies to a holiday party (I’ve been to possibly too many holiday parties this year) and they were pretty popular. They are really rich so it’s hard to have more than one, but the cookies are nice and flavorful and the ganache is freakin’ excellent.

Cookie week is really flying by! One cookie day left! Check back tomorrow for it.

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16 comments on “Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  1. WOW. When isn't bigger better more !!!

    They look neAt. And the stand mixer is a nice kitchen piece

    I'll have to get some more heavy cream. Gansie used it all for her mouse

    delis too

    once agAin teriffic Nick. Glad you keep Em

    coming

  2. I dig it! Sometimes less isn't best :) Also, recipes always seem to say "this yields 8 million cookies" when really it yields 12 normal-sized cookies. If I wanted to have a thumb-tack sized piece of chocolate I'd just eat an M&M.

  3. mmm those look super delicious! I appreciate the idea of using the rounded teaspoon instead of your thumb- nice. They look much more attractive that way. Thanks for sharing!

  4. @erin. Couldn't agree more. Why do more work just to embarrass yourself later by eating 40 tiny cookies?! Eat one or two normal ones and call it a day!

    Thanks for the comments everyone ;)

  5. @kathleen It doesn't really set hard… like if you stick your finger in it, it'll leave a mark, but it's really thick. If you turn it upside down, it won't drip at all.

  6. For our secret santa exchange this year, in true berkeley fashion, it was requested that we not purchase items that would not "end up in a landfill" – but that were less thank $10. So, I made these for my giftee last night… and got rave reviews! :) Thanks, friend!

  7. Dude, my mom is making these right now. I've been eating the dough out of the mixer. I'm gonna hurl. These are amazing, and honestly they are so rich I can't imagine them with the ganache. Oh, also, ma says she's getting about 90 from this recipe. We both really hope we don't eat them all. :P

  8. nick – these were amazing. HUGE hit with my cookie-loving-family at home over christmas, and i’m about to make more for friends. thanks!

  9. I was wondering if you have a peanut butter type ganache for these as well? Much appreciated!

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