Chocolate-chestnut thumbprints

We may be in the midst of Thanksgiving prep (those grocery stores are jam packed!) but it's Christmas that I can't get my mind off of.  I'm always eager to get started on holiday baking!  It's such a wonderful time of year; I only wish we had more time (I think two months would be perfect) between Thanksgiving and Christmas to stretch it out and enjoy it more.  Short of moving to Canada where we can celebrate Thanksgiving in October, I guess we have to make do with our schedule.  That means it's time to get started on cookies!  I have old-favorites to make but I eased into my holiday baking with this batch of chocolate-chestnut thumbprint cookies, a chocolate chip cookie filled with chestnut cream. 
Chocolate chip thumbprint cookies filled with chestnut cream
There's something about thumbprints that screams 'holiday cookies', right?  And this is the time of year when we look for simple recipes that have a little spin or twist to them that make them a bit extra special.  I've wanted to try this recipe for a long time because these cookies are like that - very easy to make, with a little twist in the middle.  The base cookie dough is essentially a chocolate chip cookie. Make an indentation in the center and fill it with a dollop of chestnut cream for a different spin.
You might know that I love chestnuts, in all forms.  If that's not the case for you or if you can't get your hands on chestnut cream ("crème de marrons"), you can also fill the cookie centers easily with a spoonful of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (I bet you have that!).  If you don't mind a little more work, I think a fudge filling like the one I used for the fudge oatmeal cookies would work beautifully.  
I filled my thumbprints with chestnut cream as well as Nutella.  If you find the kind of chestnut cream that comes in a tube, it makes filling the thumbprints so easy.  

Between the two, the chestnut cream filling gives you a different flavor component, a milder kind of sweetness.  It's a fun change and a little twist to the usual.  The Nutella, or a chocolate filling, will give you more of a familiar, traditional chocolate chip cookie taste.  Both are good.  My husband and I liked the chestnut combination; the little one preferred the Nutella.
The cookies up front are filled with Nutella


I'd intended to sub some of the all-purpose flour in this recipe with spelt flour but the idea totally slipped my mind til the cookie dough was all made.  That kind of forgetfulness happens a lot around this time of year for me!
When you mix up this dough, it may seem a bit dry but don't be fooled.  Get your hands into the dough and it comes together and you can easily roll them into balls before using your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to make your indentations.
Half the cookies pictured above are filled with chestnut cream (the 2 rows on the right) and Nutella (on the left).  I like that the chestnut cream comes out the way it looks going in.  You may get some white spots on the Nutella filling after baking (likely due to the heat and crystallization, I'm guessing).  Lastly, popping the cookie dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking is important; it keeps the cookies from spreading too much.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering!  But don't forget to start thinking about those Christmas cookies...there's a lot to bake and eat so you need to plan ahead!  : )


Recipe:

Chocolate-Chestnut Thumbprints
Adapted from Martha Stewart

- Makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen - 

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 oz.) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup crème de marrons (sweetened chestnut spread); alternatively, you could use Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks set in the upper and lower third position.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.  Add egg, vanilla, and salt, beating until combined and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Add flour and beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in chocolate with a rubber spatula.  

The dough might look a bit dry but gather it in your hands and it will come together easily.  Shape dough into 1-inch round balls and place onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Using your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in each cookie.  Fill each with about a teaspoon of crème de marrons (or Nutella, if using that).  Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, until firm.  This will keep the cookies from spreading too much while baking.

Bake until edges are golden and cookies are firm, approximately 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time.  Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing onto wire racks to cool completely.

Cookies can be store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days. Unbaked cookie dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw before using.










38 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. A fresh homemade cookie rarely disappoints, right? : )

      Delete
  2. OMGosh Monica - you've used this chestnut cream before, and at the time, I remember thinking "why I have I not bought chestnut cream before?" And, now, this makes me realize I still have not bought it, and I have NO idea why! Chestnuts are all over the grocery store right now, because of the holidays, and I *adore* chestnuts! These cookies look absolutely delish! Girl, these are singing my food love language! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try the chestnut cream in crepes - love that! : ) I love this time of year when I see chestnuts at the grocery store. It gets me all in the holiday spirit even though I like chestnuts all year. Thanks, Kristi.

      Delete
  3. Hi Monica, 2 months would be perfect and just enough time to really appreciate the Christmas holidays. Did not know there was such a thing as chestnut cream, sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think 2 months would be perfect. We can really enjoy it without that edge of feeling rushed like I can't help but feel. Chestnut cream is hard to find...you'd most likely need to order it, unfortunately...

      Delete
  4. These cookies definitely scream for HOLIDAY! I must get me a bottle of this chestnut cream too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you think so. I was so happy when I had a stash of chestnut cream in my pantry. I've had to replenish... : )

      Delete
  5. I was just saying the same thing to my mom this morning - I wish there was more time between thanksgiving and christmas! I'm such a sucker for thumbprints - especially during christmas! These sound wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my way of thinking. More time = less stress, more enjoyment without the slight edge of panic about fitting everything in. I'll make the most of it anyway. Have a great one!

      Delete
  6. I'm with ya! I get started early on my holiday baking. I love this twist on a traditional thumbprint cookie!! Definite flavor winner and so pretty too. :)
    Tina from www.tinaschic.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holiday baking is so great..it's just the timing that is so tricky for me! I love finding and trying recipes with a little twist. : )

      Delete
  7. Your cookies sound delicious. (And we'd love to have you in Canada, any time!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - I'm a little jealous of those of you in Canada! Enjoy your "extended" holiday baking season!

      Delete
  8. Hi Monica, this recipe looks amazing! I’d really love to make it with chest nut cream but I haven’t got any…I have chestnut flour, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so intrigued by chestnut flour. I've never used it and I would love to try it!

      Delete
  9. I'm totally drooling because I love chestnut! And I love that you put chestnut puree in the filling too :D Big love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chestnuts are so amazing, aren't they, Lorraine!

      Delete
  10. I totally agree, holiday baking is my favorite and there are always so many Christmas treats I want to make but not enough time. Love that you are starting early and sharing these cookies. I adore thumbprints and a chocolate version with chestnut cream sounds so amazing! I definitely want to order some of that chestnut cream now :) It sounds so so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not enough time and you want to eat and gift cookies and treats when they're fresh! It is hard but I guess these are 'first world problems'. : )

      Delete
  11. These cookies look absolutely mouthwatering! Who can resist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katerina! You really can't go wrong with chocolate chips... : )

      Delete
  12. Monica I love, love, love this time of the year just because of the holiday baking. Last year I´ve downloaded a Christmas radio app and baked hearing all the lovely Christmas songs. These cookies look great. Nedd to pin it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the thought of that Christmas music in the background! We already decorated our little gingerbread house over the weekend. And I love having cookie 'breaks' with hot chocolate throughout Dec. with my husband and son. Christmas music is often playing! I love it when a local radio station starts playing x'mas music non-stop right after Thanksgiving - we tune in to that all Dec.

      Delete
  13. I could definitely use more time in-between Christmas and Thanksgiving...I would sign that petition!! I've never had chestnut creme but given how much I LOVE chestnuts, I daresay I'd adore it! And these cookies, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a petition is what we need! ; ) You could certainly use more time but you are also an example of just how much we can do if we put our minds to it! : )

      Delete
  14. I started my holiday baking this past weekend! It just felt right ;) Love this thumbprint cookie idea. I made thumbprints last night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great!! The holidays is just the excuse to go crazy with baking...and it's never too early! Ashley, I've already made peppermint brownies for my son so I'm with ya!

      Delete
  15. I am so ready to start baking! I hope this weekend will bring fun in the kitchen. These sound wonderful and there's that chestnut cream again - I must find some! Best wishes for you and your family - I hope your Thanksgiving is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Tricia. I know it will be beautiful and delicious wherever you are!

      Delete
  16. Cookies looks perfect,just pass me some

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is hard to pass up on a cookie, isn't it. I love the variety and platters I see all around the holidays. :)

      Delete
  17. Chestnut cream...I have to get some! Each time you mention it, i want to run out to the shops right then. I wish the cookie season lasted longer too...there are always so many recipes to try, You seem to have started it with a blast with these delicious thumbprints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish chestnut cream was something I could just run to the grocery store and pick up, like a jar of peanut butter. Maybe one day...Have fun baking this holiday season!

      Delete
  18. Such special thumbprint cookies Monica! The chestnut Creme is so special and indulgent. Perfectly seasonal. And what a great shape the cookies are...I must refrigerate mine next time! ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed chilling it made a difference. I had a few that I skimped on refrigerating and they did spread a bit more. Thanks for the comment, Jo!

      Delete
  19. So cute! I definitely agree that thumbprint cookies are a Christmas cookie staple. I love the chestnut cream filling, and a Nutella/hazelnut filling also sounds delicious (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we all love the little fillings (whatever it may be) inside the thumbprints. It just makes it all the more special and Christmastime is definitely time for that extra bit of effort. Happy Holidays!

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...