I seem to be in a “Let’s half dip everything in chocolate!” mood lately. Is there some Freudian explanation for that? Some hidden meaning behind wanting my cookies to all take a dunk in melted cocoa? Is it a sign of something? Like when women get pregnant and they know before the tests confirm it because they have these weird cravings for pickles and ice cream (I am definitely not pregnant by the way, for anyone who just freaked out there for a second). What does this dipping in chocolate obsession mean??
Oh I know! (1) That I have a borderline pathological need to make recipes more delicious by making them more complicated or adding extra steps (2) Everything looks cuter when half of it is covered in chocolate. Phew! Glad we figured that out.
I finally found these holiday sprinkles! I have literally been looking for them for two weeks now and have searched at least five stores for them before finally finding them in a Michael’s Craft Store. Naturally I bought three jars. I won’t use all three jars this year (we are almost done with cookie season…sniffle) but I am not going to risk not finding them next year. I have so many cookies that would be perfection with these sprinkles, and these are just the first ones to be elevated to that status. A soft and crumbly butter cookie filled with sweet raspberry jam covered in semisweet chocolate and doused in holiday sprinkles. Yep. The definition of perfection.
I’ve never made thumbprint cookies because they’ve never been my or my mom’s favorite, but these are the exception to that favoritism and will probably be making yearly appearances in our Christmas baking rotation. I’m not sure this batch lasted more than a day. Every time I turned around, the pile was smaller and smaller and cookies were swiped before the chocolate even had time to dry. Patience is not a virtue well kept when these cookies are on the cooling rack. The raspberry/chocolate combination alone is enough to test anyone’s resolve. Even Mickey Mouse wants to steal one!
One big note about making these cookies: You will think the dough won’t work, that it is wrong, that you messed up somehow, that an ingredient is missing, etc. because it never really forms a traditional smooth cookie dough ball you can easily scoop solid balls from. When you go to chill the dough, it will still be crumbly and look incomplete. But trust me you are perfectly fine. Once the dough has rested, you will heat it up slightly so the butter melts further into the flour and the crumbs will hold together. With each tablespoon of dough/crumbs you scoop, mold it/knead it/squeeze it/massage it/work it until the scoop becomes smooth and holds together. (Make sure you wash your hands before making these cookies, obviously.) Think of the dough like clay. And I promise it will hold together once you do! It’s just a little more of a high maintenance cookie-forming dough, so also take the forming the thumbprint gently. High maintenance, but totally worth every step! (Also are perfect for a Christmas Afternoon Tea dessert tier, just saying.)
This may be my last holiday cookie recipe this year! But I still have a ton of cookie recipes to share and some have even already been made and photographed. So sad that we only get a month to make as many cookies as we can before we have to get back to regular baking and non-holiday specific flavors. Guess I’ll just have to save those recipes for next year! Luckily these are a cookie worthy of being the final cookie of 2014.
chocolate dipped thumbprint cookies
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 200 g (14 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam
- 6 oz semi sweet chocolate
- ¼ tsp canola oil
- holiday sprinkles
In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar, extract, and salt. Continue mixing in the food processor until ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough will not combine into a big ball of dough, but will feel like moistened flour. That is correct! Turn out into a glass bowl without kneading the dough and chill covered in the refrigerator for 3 hours. We want the dough to rest.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set next to you on your working surface. Remove dough from refrigerator and either let come to room temperature or microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.
Take 1 tbsp of dough/dough crumbs and knead it together in your hand until it stays together. It’s almost like giving the dough ball a massage. Then roll it into a smooth ball and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with all the dough, leaving about 2 inches in between the balls as the dough will spread a bit when baked.
Carefully press down on the top center of each dough ball to form a “thumbprint”. The cookies are small so I used my index finger. If the sides of the cookies crack when they are being pushed down, you can reform it and smooth out the edges with your hands.
Spoon the jam into a small Ziploc bag and snip off a small corner. Fill the cookie indentations with jam. Bake for 10-14 minutes until the tops of the cookies are beginning to feel solid. Cool on a wire rack.
Melt the chocolate and oil using a double boiler or the microwave. Dip each cookie into the chocolate (about 1/3 to ½ of the way in) and place on wax paper. Immediately sprinkle with holiday sprinkles. Repeat with all the cookies, melting more chocolate if necessary. Let cool 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in fridge to let chocolate finish setting.