Dense, chewy, chocolate-rich, and salty, these thumbprints satisfy. Thankfully, given their dainty one- to two-bite size, one can indulge in two, even three cookies without feeling like you, well, overindulged.
Rolling, shaping, and filling these cookies takes a little bit of time, but probably less than you assume they will. Both the dough and ganache are simple to make, and the more time-consuming steps feel almost meditative, rather than frustrating.
One small warning: the ganache remains slightly malleable even after firming up, so if you can avoid it, don't stack these cookies in a tin; if you must, layer with parchment paper for slightly less-messy results. For this reason, they're perhaps best for when you're hosting, versus toting to work or a friend's house.
The seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean can be substituted for the vanilla bean paste. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the ganache:
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup heavy cream
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl.
- Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
- Roll rounded 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls, and roll each in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation.
- Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers again.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache: Combine honey, cream, salt, and vanilla bean paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring until honey dissolves.
- Add chocolate and butter to a small mixing bowl. Pour cream mixture over chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth.
- Spoon the ganache into the indentations of the cookies, or, to make things neater, transfer to a piping bag with a small opening and use that to fill the indentations of the cookies. Let the ganache firm up before serving.
- Desserts, Cookies
- North American
- About 90 cookies
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry