Friday, May 29, 2009

A Quickie Gift - Chocolate Thumbprints

A while back, I needed to bake something to give someone the next day. It had to be easy to carry, it had to be quick, and it had to be chocolate.

I'm told it's always funny to watch me browse for a recipe. It's true that I get pretty frantic, pulling cookbooks off the shelf, madly flipping through them, putting them back in their rightful place (they have to be organized by size), then pulling them out again and spreading them across the table to compare with other recipes. I get a little crazy during those moments...

So, after going through the above process, I finally settled on these Chocolate Thumbprints from Martha Stewart's Cookies. I got this book for Christmas and have only tried a few recipes so far. Some of them didn't come out quite right, but this one was definitely a winner!

These little cookies were very easy to make, and they came out looking adorable! Furthermore, I really loved the buttery, crumbly cookie base, and the chocolate topping hardened nicely, while retaining a smooth texture. Plus, the cookies' rustic aspect makes it really difficult to screw up their appearance: it's the perfect gift recipe when you're in a hurry!

It turns out the recipe on the website is actually a more-or-less halved version of the one in the book - which I halved anyway, because 4 dozen cookies seemed like an awful lot. At any rate, everything went smoothly. I really recommend these!

Chocolate Thumbprints
From Martha Stewart's Cookies (recipe also available here)

Yields 20-24 cookies

130 (1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp) unsalted butter
70g (1/2 cup) confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
175g (1 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
90g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped (or discs)
1 tsp light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixer bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat together 200g (1/2 cup) butter with the confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat in flour until combined.

Form balls with 2 tsp of dough for each, rolling them with your palms, and place them 2,5cm (1 inch) apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. With your thumb, or with a similarly shaped object (I used the handle of a pestle), make deep, wide indentations. Don't panic if the edges crack (even the cookies on the photograph in the book were cracked), just make sure not to split the cookies completely in half.

Rotate sheet and return to oven. Bake until light brown on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies, as the indentations may lose definition. If this happens, take the cookies out and press again (if using your thumb, keep a bowl of iced water nearby and dip your thumb in it if the heat gets to be too much - just make sure to dry your finger before touching the cookies). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Melt the chocolate with the remaining 30g (3 tbsp) butter and the corn syrup in a double boiler. When smooth, let cool for a bit until slightly the mixture is slightly thickened. Fill the cooled cookies with a teaspoonful or two of the chocolat mixture. Let the mixture firm up before storing in airtight containers at room temperature, in single layers.


  1. Rustic? If you say they certainly look lovely to me.
    Martha seems to have a rather on again off again score when it comes to recipes. A long time ago the DBers did a crap - oops crape cake. It was iffy.

  2. Ugg UGGG YYUMMM! I have that book also (and the new cupcake one that comes out in 3 days!) and it is one of my favourites. I haven't made these yet but they have now moved up my list!