chocolate thumbprint cookies
And so, I wrap up my engagement-party-baking saga with another good standby that I’ve made for Christmas parties in the past.
This is when I realize that it’s 1am and I still have mixing, rolling, baking, and pouring to do.
These cookies are intense. They’re one of those things where each of the components individually isn’t all that special, but together, it’s like, whoa.
On top of old Smooookyyyyy…
Also, I’ve made them as a Christmas present for my grandmother, who is my role model in chocoholism. So yeah.
Annnd the mess. Oh, the mess.
The cookies themselves are crumbly and so very very cocoa-y (and actually a little salty…might cut down on the kosher salt next time, but if you’re into the salty-sweet thing, keep it at 4 teaspoons).
The ganache is good, too, smooth and sweet and made a little bit special-er by its use of honey instead of sugar. And then when you fill one with the other, I’m pretty sure it’s the most chocolate you could possibly fit in one bite…except for maybe those other cookies that used a pound of chocolate.
They’re also one of those wonderful things that look like they required far more fine motor skills than they actually do. The end product has this perfect little bubble of chocolate in the middle, which is actually really easy to create because the ganache starts out so liquidy that all you have to do is pour the stuff into the craters. But when it all solidifies up (which, again, I promise you it does, so don’t panic when it looks like they’ll never be transportable), it looks really fancy. Win!
Okay, so not quite as perfect-looking on the morning after, but still.
And as an added bonus, this recipe makes about a kajillion cookies, so when I doubled it, it made about two kajillion. (Or 75, give or take.) And I think I’m gonna keep the recipe doubled here, because I’ve always wanted to write “4 sticks of butter.”
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons kosher salt [again, use 4 if you’re into that]
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 2/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies in
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
GANACHE [this made way too much ganache, but I’m not sure halving it would give you enough…so you might want to either resign yourself to having extra ganache for your ice cream or whatever, or deal with messy fractions and math-fun]
1 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
1. For the cookies, sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
2. In a stand mixer or a large bowl [and I mean large] with a hand mixer, mix together butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla, egg yolks, and cream.
3. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix just until everything is combined.
4. Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll each ball in sugar. Lay about 18 balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the back of a metal tablespoon, make a divot in each ball.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. If cookies puff during baking [which they will], softly press tablespoon back into cookies.
6. To make ganache, combine honey, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve honey. Roughly chop chocolate and add to mixing bowl. Pour hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute and mix on medium speed until everything is melted and combined. While mixing, add butter, a few chunks at a time. Keep mixing until mixture is slightly cooled.
7. Spoon ganache into the thumbprint cookies. [If you mix it all up in a measuring cup with a pour spout—or even if you don’t—you can just pour it in.] Let sit at room temperature to let the ganache firm up.