The past few weeks have been crazy busy, rainy and cold and I was desperately in need of a dose of chocolate and sprinkles. I wasn’t even really craving a cookie as much as I was dying to simply bake some! Something about it getting darker earlier just makes me want to get into the kitchen and bake. No matter how tired I am at the end of the day, I still find it so relaxing to bake late at night. I definitely don’t attempt complicated recipes at that hour, but I came across this recipe and it was exactly what I wanted…simple, no fuss cookies that were made and devoured in under an hour.
I had surprisingly never had a chocolate thumbprint cookie before I made these. I have had jam filled ones countless times, but I’m glad I finally got around to trying them with chocolate. While the chocolate ganache is a little more work than simply filling the cookies with jam, this recipe couldn’t be easier. The base is a perfect buttery shortbread cookie that comes together in one bowl and the ganache is formed by heating heavy cream and pouring it over chopped dark chocolate. Easy! I promise.
While these cookies are supposed to be made by using your thumb to make an indent in the center (hence the name), I used the back of a teaspoon measure to get a more circular shape. The cookies will crack a bit when you do this, but it just adds to their cute homemade look! I used a small spoon to fill the cookies while the ganache was still hot and then let the ganache set once in the cookies for several hours. The cookies can totally be enjoyed while the ganache is still warm, but I preferred them once the ganache had hardened a bit. With the holidays approaching, these would definitely be fun cookies to gift or bring along to any party.
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
For the Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high for a minute or so to help the dough to form. The dough may still be crumbly. If it is, just use your hands to form it into a big ball.
Scoop a tablespoon of dough at a time and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Use your thumb or the back of a teaspoon measure to make a slight indent on top of each cookie. Then bake for ten minutes. Take the cookies out and make a deeper indentation in the middle of each cookie, then return cookies to the oven for another ten minutes. If the cookies start to brown at all around the edges then they are done.
Allow the cookies to cool completely and then make your ganache. Heat the heavy cream on the stove over medium heat until it is very hot, chop your chocolate and put it into a bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for several minutes. Then take a fork and stir the chocolate until it is thoroughly melted and combined with the cream.
Use a small spoon to fill each cookie with ganache and then cover in sprinkles. Enjoy immediately, or allow the ganache to set for several hours. The cookies can be stored at room temperature for several days to a week.
Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker