Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate and Sea Salt Thumbprint Cookies

i love thumbprint cookies. a buttery cookie enveloping a sweet well of jam - yum! i stumbled upon my grandmother's thumbprint cookie recipe in her old handwritten cookbook (lengthy description here) and decided to make them as christmas cookies this year.

however, i wanted to do something a little different this time. one of my favorite things is dark chocolate with sea salt. the little bit of salt really brings out the flavor of the chocolate. it is to die for. seriously.

so i thought, why can't i fill my thumbprint cookies with dark chocolate and sprinkle a little sea salt? that could be good, right? and if i'm doing that, why not also fill some with salted caramel too? ooh, and i could drizzle some dark chocolate over the salted caramel . . .

and so, the recipe took shape and i waited with anticipation as my cookies baked and my chocolate melted. would this turn out as well in practice as i imagine it in my head? let me tell you, waiting was a lesson in patience. not only did i have to wait for the cookies to bake and the chocolate to melt, i had to wait for the chocolate to cool. if i sprinkled the sea salt to early when the chocolate or caramel was too warm, it melted into the cookie. if i waited too long and the chocolate was set, it would just sit on top of the cookie. i was like goldilocks, it had to be just riiight.

and just right they were. it's official, these thumbprint cookies are even better when filled with chocolate. so now we have a super versatile cookie - one that can be filled with fruity jam, rich chocolate, or salty caramel. take your pick and bake away.

note: if you are filling with chocolate, bake the cookie empty and fill with chocolate. i used werther's chewy caramels and added them to the empty cookies halfway through cooking. (of course you could make your own caramel, but i wanted to know if an easier way worked and it does!) then drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinle with sea salt when cooled 10 minutes.

Chocolate and Sea Salt Thumbprint Cookies
(makes 3 dozen cookies)

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened (i used one salted and one unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup dark chocolate chips
sea salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

cream together butter and sugar until smooth. add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. add vanilla. slowly add flour a little at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.

roll teaspoon size balls of dough and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
press thumb into center of ball to flatten and create a well in the cookie. (if filling with jam, fill now).
bake for 10 minutes. (if filling with caramels, place caramel in well after 5 minutes of baking). remove and let cool on wire racks.

meanwhile, melt chocolate chips in double boiler until smooth. fill cooled cookie wells with chocolate or drizzle over caramel filled cookies. let cool 10-15 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt. enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This recipe looks great! I included it in a roundup of Christmas cookie recipes that I posted on my blog,


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