Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Posted by Brette in Food | Holidays

Martha had Paula Abdul on (in all her non-coherent glory) and made Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies during cookie week (why isn’t every week cookie week in my life?) This recipe is also in December Living. I have to say, I passed right by the recipe in the magazine. It didn’t strike me as anything great. But then I saw it on-air and I knew it was something I had to make.

As complicated as Martha can sometimes make things, this cookie was actually pretty easy. First you make the cookie dough which is nothing difficult at all. It’s a basic dough with lots of cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark). The dough did not firm up into a ball for me – it was a bowl of crumbs, pretty much. When I smushed it though, it stuck, so I was able to roll out the balls. You roll them in sugar then put them on the baking sheet.

Wooden spoon method

Wooden spoon method

On the show, Martha suggested using the end of a wooden spoon to make the indentations in the cookies. As you can see, this didn’t work very well. The cookies ended up splitting down the sides. I used my thumb instead and it was much more successful.

Baking them should have been simple, except I chose to attempt this on a weekday afternoon. I got them halfway done, and a child needed a ride, so out they came. I got home and put them in again and another child needed a ride. Out came the cookies again. It went on and on this way. It is truly a miracle they turned out at all.

Once these are baked, you make the chocolate and vanilla ganache to fill them. This part of the recipe was unnecessarily complicated. Martha wants you to cook honey and cream and scrape a vanilla bean and cook it with the scrapings and the whole pod. I did not have a whole vanilla bean and my grocery store did not sell any. I just dumped in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

Have a cookie...

Have a cookie...

Martha then wants you to cool this and strain it and then pour it over the bittersweet chocolate in a food processor. My food processor which  has served me well for 20 years) just died – actually the bowl broke. So until the replacement bowl gets here, I’m without one. Instead I just dumped the chocolate into the pot and warmed it up until the chocolate melted. No straining or mess. Very easy. Once it cooled, I spooned it into the cookies and let them rest. I needed to refrigerate them to get the ganache to really set up so I could pack them away.

The verdict? This is absolutely delicious. A good thing.  The cookie tastes very much like a very dense brownie. The ganache is tasty too. One point of contention – the recipe says it makes 90. 90! No way. Given, the recipe says to make each cookie 2 teaspoons, but on the air Martha was using a small little ice cream scooper/melon baller thing, so I used that too. This recipe made maybe 25 cookies for me. They weren’t huge either  -they were just about the right size. If you want more, you’ll need to double the recipe.

Happy birthday to me today!

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4 Responses

  • Tara (none) says:

    Happy birthday to you! I love your website! I enjoy seeing how things did or didn’t work out and often you improve what Martha did! It is WONDERFUL!

  • Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy it. It has been quite a learning experience.

  • Tara says:

    Hi marthaandme,

    Just wanted to let you know I followed your changes on the chocolate thumbprint cookies and I used half the amount of salt as in her recipe and I still thought they were really salty-tasting. Next time I make them I’m gonna use even less salt.

    Also, they are just OSOOOOOO rich that at Christmas everyone could only eat one and many just ate half of one. I think that the cookies might be nicer with milk chocolate used instead of the semisweet. Just an idea….

    LOVE your site. I check it every day!

  • Thanks Tara. Did you use unsalted butter? That is important. I never used to pay attention to that, but I’m finding that it’s really necessary. There is a lot of salt in butter. One weird thing – I buy organic butter and the unsalted is more expensive than the salted. That just seems so backwards.

    It’s nice to know you’re following along! It’s wonderful to have some support on my journey. There’s lots to do in the new year with Martha!