What made me want to make these was a conversation with one of my friends out west. We were talking about my blog and how its been a long time since they've had my baking (actually one of them has never had my baking at all). One of them loves shortbread, and it was like a lightbulb went off - Chocolate Thumbprints! Perfect cookies to be sent in the mail. So away I go and pull out my cookie bible (Martha Stewarts Cookies) - and I'm happy to say it has lived another day. This is one recipe that I make so often the book actually opens right to the page - sad isn't it? I pull out my stand mixer and get going on making the dough. The first time I made these, I was surprised to learn that there are no eggs in a shortbread. And then I thought to myself - thats why its called a shortbread.....Im super smart sometimes. I get the dough all made and then comes the fun part, making little balls of dough. Because the dough doesn't really expand you can fit a large amount of cookies on each sheet - which is awesome.
|look at how many I fit on there! :)|
You bake them for 10 minutes and then comes the fun part. You get to make holes in the cookies for the ganache filling to go into. I've used everything from my thumb (the cookies are really hot and I dont suggest using your thumb) to the end of a wooden spoon - which actually works the best. So I poke holes in the cookies and back into the oven they go to get golden brown. But don't press too hard when making the holes, you can break the cookie in half.
|its fun making the |
Once these bad boys cool off, I make the ganache. Yes - another ganache. But I'm back to myself this time so there were no mistakes. :) I melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup and let it thicken until the right consistancy and I get started on filling the cookies. I've learned over the years of making these that the easiest thing to do is just pour the ganache straight from the bowl. I've tried everything from using a spoon to fill each cookie to a pastry bag and everything in between. The pastry bag worked great, but it was another thing to clean. So I always use a small bowl with a spout on it to pour things. It will make your life so much easier this way. I fill each cookie and I always have some ganache left over, so I go back through another round of filling the cookies a little more.
makes 4 1/2 dozen
2 sticks (1 cup) plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium until combined.
- Form balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each; place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into cookies to make deep, wide indentations. Rotate pan, and return to oven; bake until light brown on the edges, 7-9 minutes more. (If the indentations begin to lose definition, remove cookies from oven and press again.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine chocolate, the remaining 6 tbsp butter and the corn syrup in a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool a bit until slightly thickened. Fill thumbprints with the chocolate mixture, and set aside to firm up.