December 6, 2012

12 Days of Cookies: Day the Sixth
( Almond Chocolate Thumbprints)

In the hallowed tradition of the cookie box, there are a few elder statesmen.  The Buckeye.  The Peanut Butter Blossom.  The Decorated Sugar Cookie.  And, of course, The Thumbprint.

The Thumbprint is the most homey of all the above.  He's sort of fancy-looking, what with his button of filling.  But it's a comfy fancy.  It's a fancy that can be accomplished without rolling, without dipping, and without much fussing.  A pajama-pants kind of fancy.  And I'm all about the pajama pants.

Plus, it's great therapy.  Everyone loves to squash something, and shoving your thumb right in the middle of a pristine ball of cookie dough, especially if you've spent the last 42 hours in close quarters with various kinds of cookie dough, is a special kind of cathartic.

These thumbprints caught my eye because they toss a little something extra into the usual Thumbprint oeuvre.  The dough is made with a quick spin in the food processor, with some almonds and my verybestfriend almond extract to knock the flavor up even further.  And then they're filled with my secondbestfriends, melted chocolate and butter.  Heart.


Plus, they're rolled in my newest favoritest cookie helper, coarse sugar (I used turbinado).  With crystals this large, rolling a cookie in coarse sugar gives it a downright crunchy exterior that's an awesome contrast to the tender insides.  Plus, did I mention?  Filled with chocolate and butter.  This isn't just an elder statesman.  It's the Emperor of Awesome.  Enjoy.


Almond Chocolate Thumbprints
by Alice Medrich 
from Fine Cooking

Sugar  [ 1/2 cup ]
Salt  [ 1/2 teaspoon ]
Almonds  [whole, 4 ounces ]
Unsalted Butter  [ 1 1/2 cups, cut into chunks and slightly softened ]
Vanilla Extract  [ 4 teaspoons ]
Almond Extract  [ 1/4 teaspoon ]
Flour  [ 13 1/2 ounces ] 

Coarse Sugar  [ 3/4 cup ]

Semisweet Chocolate  [ 7 1/2 ounces, coarsely chopped ]
Unsalted Butter  [ 5 tablespoons ]  

1.   In a food processor, process Sugar and Salt until powdery [ about 45 seconds ].
2.   Add Almonds to Sugar Mixture.  Process until fine [ about 20 seconds ].
3.   Add Butter, Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract to Mixture.  Pulse until smooth.
4.   Add Flour.  Pulse until Dough begins to come together in a ball.

5.   Pour Coarse Sugar into a shallow bowl.
6.   Line several cookie sheets with waxed paper.
7.   Roll Dough into 1-inch balls.
8.   Roll Balls in Coarse Sugar to cover completely.
9.   Set Balls on prepared cookie sheets, with a slight space between each cookie.
10.   With the finger of your choice, press down the center of the Cookie to make a deep divot.  You may need to dip your finger in flour or water to keep it from sticking to the dough.
11.   Cover cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.

12.   Heat oven to 325 degrees.
13.   Line new cookie sheets with foil.
14.   Take Cookies out of refrigerator and place on foil-lined cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch of space between Cookies.
15.   Bake Cookies for 10 minutes.
16.   Remove Cookies from oven and quickly use the end of a wooden spoon's handle to gently tamp down Cookies' divots.
17.   Return Cookies to oven and cook until barely beginning to turn golden  [ this will take about another 8-10 minutes ].
18.   Remove Cookies from cookie sheets and place on cooling racks until cooled completely.

19.   In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt together Semisweet Chocolate and Butter, stirring frequently, until smooth.
20.   Using a small spoon, fill divot in each cooled Cookie with Chocolate Filling.  Let stand until set.

Makes about 70.


  1. What kind of flour did you use? Self rising or All Purpose?

    1. Definitely all-purpose. I hadn't really noticed before you asked that that there wasn't any leavening agent in the recipe, which is definitely a little weird. But it works in this case. The cookies are fairly dense, which is nice since they have to support the ganache filling. Good luck if you attempt them!

  2. Is it supposed to be 1.5 cups of butter, or just .5 cups?

  3. The flavor of these cookies were amazing, but maybe I didn't put enough flour, cause the dough never really became a ball, and the cookies completely lost shape in the oven. Have you ever added more flour?

    1. Hm, that's interesting. I've never varied the amount of flour, since I've always measured by weight. If you're having a problem, though, you could certainly try a little more flour; you might also want to try adding more almonds rather than flour. I'd also make sure that you don't skimp at all on the chilling step: the cookies should be absolutely thoroughly chilled before they go into the oven; this helps any cookie that tends to spread to keep its shape.

  4. Ah, I didn't measure the flour by weight!

  5. this recipe is inaccurate, you will not get 70 cookies- DO NOT FOLLOW RECIPE- DO NOT MAKE THESE COOKIES!!! this is incorrect!! don't waste your money or time. I am very disappointed.