Christmas baking has begun! Yesterday, as Michael Bublé crooned carols in the background, I churned out pans of deliciously decadent chocolate thumbprint cookies, as well as a large batch of cardamom-flavoured shortbread. The chocolate cookies are year-round favourites; it would be a sin to restrict them to Christmas only. Every time I make them, I decide they’re my favourite cookies because they embody everything that I think a good cookie should be — chewy, sweet, soft, satisfying. They basically taste like a brownie in cookie form, and it’s hard to imagine anything more awesome than that.
Double Dark Chocolate Thumbprints
Yields about 4 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
6 oz (1-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1.5 oz (1/2 cup) natural unsweetened coca, sifted if lumpy
3 large eggs
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
For the chocolate filling:
3 oz (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and soda. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down, and add eggs one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla along with last egg. Continue mixing on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
Drop tablespoons of dough about 1.5 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake until the cookies are puffed and the tops are cracked and look dry, about 11 to 13 minutes. When the cookies are just out of the oven, use the rounded side of a half-teaspoon measure to make a small, deep well in the centre of each cookie. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Make the filling: Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a double boiler, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the wells of the cooled cookies. Set aside until the chocolate firms up, about 1 hour. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
[Recipe from Fine Cooking, issue no. 108]