Tuesday, May 5, 2009

[Cookie 012] Chocolate Thumbprints

Chocolate Thumbprints

So, the past few weeks are supposed to be considered rather busy ones for students like myself, considering that it's been finals week, and all my studio art courses are winding up. Final projects are due--paintings, photographs, sculptures, manifestos (yes, manifestos)--and so you'd think I wouldn't have any time to make cookies, let alone make more than one recipe per week. Well, that's where you're wrong, because the more work I have, the more I feel compelled to bake unnecessarily huge quantities of cookies! It's a great situation, because I can trick myself into feeling productive when in reality, I'm just...baking. I like it. And I think I am becoming Maggie Gyllenhaal's character in Stranger Than Fiction, but that's another issue entirely.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Dough

Okay, so these cookies, these thumbprints, yes. I found myself in a situation where I needed to bring cookies as a gift of sorts, and therefore I needed a recipe that produced cookies which were 1) pretty and easily transportable; 2) relatively simple/quick to make; 3) tasty to pretty much everyone. Success! These look great, taste great, everyone likes them, and they're easy.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, Ready for PrintingSemisweet Chocolate Filling

I knew that these would be winners just based on their dough because the recipe calls for only confectioners sugar, no granulated, and that tends to produce crunchy cookies that melt in your mouth in the most divine way! Furthermore, there aren't any odd ingredients (except maybe the inclusion of corn syrup), so really it's all about the chocolate you choose. That being said, I went with the big guns: Scharffen Berger.

Scharffen Berger Semisweet Chocolate
Chocolate Thumbprints, Unprinted

Now, as for the actual act of "thumbprinting," it's all quite easy, barring the fact that you need to press your thumb into half-baked cookie dough straight out of the oven. I knew I would be in for some pain when Martha recommends keeping a bowl of ice water on hand so you can plunge your scalding thumb into it before getting a second degree burn. Okay, that was dramatic, but it's a little annoying, this whole procedure, but if you make sure to dip your finger into the water enough, you should be fine.

Sorry the picture is blurry; it's probably because I was trying to talk on the phone, listen to my iPod, take this photograph, and not burn the hell out of my thumb, simultaneously (and unsuccessfully)

Anyways, after you thumbprint the cookies, you stick them back into the oven for a few more minutes to bake more. After they dry, the real fun comes, and you get to pour the chocolate into the little grooves, and fortunately there is a lot of excess chocolate! Sort of a reward for sticking through all the pain?

Chocolate-less ThumbprintsFilling Thumbprints w/ Chocolate

Oh and be sure to try a cookie at every stage of the baking process, like I did. I tried the dough (tasty!), I tried the cookies before thumbprinting them when they were in their half-baked stage (chewy!), I tried them after they were baked but before the chocolate (crunchy and yummy!), I tried them with freshly poured hot chocolate in them (divine!), and I tried them when the chocolate had hardened up (excellent!). Oh, and I tried them a few days later, and they might even improve with age. Perfect. These cookies are really fun to make, everyone likes them, and they look adorable. Plus, the recipe makes a bunch of baby-sized cookies, so they are great for parties or snacking or whatever you do.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprints
Makes 4 1/2 dozen

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons light corn syrup
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 2 sticks of butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium until combined.
  2. Roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls, and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into tops of cookies to make indentations. Return to oven, and bake until light brown on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes more. (If the indentations begin to lose definition, remove cookies from oven and press again.) Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  3. Combine chocolate, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and corn syrup in a small heat-proof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. When cookies are cool, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate mixture. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 4.5/5 (True cuties)
Is it worth it?: Yes, of course!


Coco Bean said...

Ha ha, I thought about that scene in the movie before you said it. I feel that way sometimes. We should just drop out and start our own cookie shops.

Coco Bean said...

actually, I have the cherry almond biscotti's from page 162 in the oven right now, instead of studying.

Lizzie said...

haha i'm not gonna lie, the thought of opening a cookie shop has definitely crossed my mind a few too many times. i'm actually thinking of selling cookies out of my dorm room next year to other students...i just need to invest in a bakery display case.

jfklds said...

LIZZIE YOU SHOULD DO IT!!! sell sell sell!!! you'll be rich and you can take me to Begal on a private jet. it'll be great.

these cookies look absolutely amazing. I'm writing an essay right now and I accidentally wrote at first, "This essay looks absolutely amazing," and then I realized...
kind of funny because this essay is a total piece of shit.


jfklds said...

mais oui, stunning cookies. lovely bonbons.

Steph said...

I'm always trying cookies throughout the entire process too! They look so smooth and delicious!

jfklds said...

lizzie, here's a neat blog I think you'd enjoy



Ashley said...

My mom would love these... too bad I live thousands of miles away from her or I'd make them for Mother's Day!

Marta said...

I loved that movie! I just saw it this past weekend and I loved the girl's character. Don't you wish you had such a quaint little bakery?! I do!
These look fantastic! Great photo!
I just found your blog and I really like it, great concept!

finsmom said...

These are mouthwatering!
Ive had jam thumbprints, but never with chocolate. Such a great idea! Yum!
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog and I'm very supportive of people dropping out jobs and schools to sell cookies. Or getting fired to sell cookies, as myself. Keep up the good work!

T.J. said...

So what's the total time table for these bad boys?

Lizzie said...

T.J.- I'm not very good at estimating baking times, but up until the filling part, I'd say that the making the dough is relatively quick and easy (about the same time it takes to make most simple cookie doughs). Then you bake for 10 minutes, then do the thumbprint thing (which takes only a few minutes, because you have to keep dipping your finger in the water), then you bake for about 10 more minutes. the filling part doesn't take very long either, and it's very easy. They take about 30 minutes for the chocolate to fully set, but you should definitely eat them whenever you want, because honestly, who doesn't like melty chocolate, i mean really!

Thea said...

I made these and there were only about 24! They where delicious though!

Anonymous said...

Can you use the back of a measuring spoon, or perhaps a small pestle, from a marble mortar, if you have one? These cookies look to be quite good, but not worth the risk of burning off your thumbs!

Lizzie said...

anonymous- Of course you can! The back of a marble mortar sounds like a great idea. Use whatever you want that helps you achieve the same effect. Just because you don't use your thumbs doesn't mean they can't be called thumbprint cookies!