Chocolate thumbprints with peppermint ganache

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Not to rush from one holiday to another but it is the holiday season and I like to embrace these last few weeks of the year and soak up as much of the spirit and goodwill as possible.  That involves cookies!  Who's ready for holiday cookies and treats?  I know I am!
As we embark on the holiday season, I think about what it is I really want out of it. And basically, it's peace and joy, time with family and good friends.  May it be relaxing and comforting, reminding us of all the good out there and around us.  Of course, I hope it's filled with the sweet scent of cookies and the sight of steaming mugs of hot chocolate!

When it comes to holiday cookies, thumbprints definitely fit the bill because there's something special about the extra treat tucked within the treat!  Here, I made chocolate thumbprint cookies, which have a soft, almost brownie-like texture and a little bit of a crunch on the exterior since they're rolled in sanding sugar.  I filled their centers with ganache - a peppermint one - because mint and chocolate are a inseparable part of the holidays and I'm all for it!
When it comes to holiday baking, you know it's time to roll out the special sugars, the sprinkles, and candies for decorating!  I had fun sprinkling my thumbprint cookies with different decorations.  It's not necessary but the holidays are about adding a little sparkle to everything.
These are fun little bites for the chocolate-lover.  The cookies are soft and rich, with the soft ganache in the center packing a little peppermint twist.  While the holidays are certainly a time for making and enjoying family favorites, I like squeezing in a few new treats.  I always appreciate both the old and the new.


So let's officially start the season with these chocolate thumbprint cookies filled with peppermint ganache!  This is a recipe from Martha Stewart.  I simplified it (and tailored it to the holidays) a bit by making a peppermint ganache (a basic chocolate ganache I flavored with a little peppermint extract) instead of doing a vanilla-infused one.  
It's all pretty simple.  While you usually set aside time for cookie dough to chill, I found that it might be better to make the dough and shape it all at once in this case. I had to go out so I let the dough chill out in the fridge for a few hours.  Even allowing for some time back at room temperature, the dough was hard and it cracked probably more than it would have if I'd rolled them right after mixing.  Just a heads up.
Take about 2 teaspoons of dough and roll them into balls, then roll them in sugar.  I recommend a coarse or sanding sugar so you get more of a sparkle after baking.  I have a set of pastel colored sanding sugar that I've been using for years.  None of them are white but the colors are so light, they look that way.  Take the handle of a wooden spoon and press it gently into the cookie to make an indentation for the thumbprints.  It's ready for the oven. 
Once the cookies are out of the oven (about 10 minutes...the cookies will still feel soft but will firm up some more as it cools), you can lightly press the centers again to reaffirm the indentations, if necessary.  Let cool before filling.  I made a simple chocolate-cream ganache and added a bit of peppermint extract.  Just spoon the ganache (or place into a plastic sandwich/piping bag and snip a corner of the bag) right into the centers.  Decorate with some sprinkles or candies, if desired, then let the filling set. 
These are a welcomed treat to enjoy at home and a fun cookie to pack up for friends. Eating and sharing cookies is one of the best parts of the holiday season so spread the love!

Recipe:

Chocolate Thumbprints with Peppermint Ganache
Adapted from Martha Stewart

- Makes approximately 22 cookies - 

For cookies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coarse or sanding sugar, for rolling

For peppermint ganache:
4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, or to taste

Sprinkles, candies, for decorating (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.  

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a small bowl.  Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  On medium speed, add yolk, cream, and vanilla. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.  Beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Take about 2 teaspoons of dough and roll into rounds.  Roll the dough ball in the sanding sugar and place, about 1 inch apart, onto the baking sheets.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently press down into the center of each dough ball to make an indentation.  Bake, rotating sheets midway through baking, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes (they continue to firm up as they cool).  Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make ganache, place chocolate into a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream with the corn syrup in a small saucepan until the edges begin to come to a boil.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.  Then, whisk, beginning at the center outward, until smooth.  Whisk in peppermint extract to combine.  Spoon ganache (or place in a piping bag/plastic sandwich bag, with a corner snipped for easy filling) into the center of each cooled cookie.  Decorate with sprinkles or candies, as desired.  Let stand until ganache sets.  





32 comments:

  1. Thumbprints are definitely a must during the holiday season. These look and sound exciting and terrific with that peppermint ganache.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love thinking about and seeing the festive cookie trays at Christmas. Thumbprints are a definitely must. : )

      Delete
  2. I've never tried a chocolate thumbprint but that needs to change right now! Peppermint, chocolate, crunchy outside, oh my these have it all! They are absolutely gorgeous and I know your family loved them. Happy baking Monica!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here...It's hard to keep track but I think these were my first chocolate thumbprints, too. They went pretty quick! Loving your holiday cookies, Tricia. Your house is such a happy place. : )

      Delete
  3. Thumbprint cookies have always been one of my favorites since childhood but I have never tried with peppermint. Great flavor, Monica.
    I made some Sicilian cookies night before, will make a link to your post when i write it today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bal - I'm happy you tried those Sicilian cookies from David Lebovitz! I hope you liked them as much as we did! Thank you and I can't wait to see your post. And here's to happy childhood and holiday memories. : )

      Delete
  4. These look so festive Monica, love how you added the peppermint. Let the sprinkles and embellishments begin, love this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cheri. My son loves chocolate-peppermint, especially around now. I have to make him some chocolate-peppermint brownies soon!

      Delete
  5. These are festive and gorgeous holiday treats. Love chocolate and peppermint together. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm all for any and all holiday treats!

      Delete
  6. These look amazing and I love the ganache in the middle, they're really pretty. It almost seems a shame to eat them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much...I know what you mean about not wanting to eat pretty holiday treats...but after the first bite, it's easy. ; )

      Delete
  7. I'll be sure to add these to my holiday rotation. What a great recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You inspire me today. I planned to make thumbprints this week, but our usual plain version filled with jam. I think I will make these as well, I can imagine how good they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That definitely makes me smile. Thank you! I know your holiday treats must be amazing...it's going to be a sweet month!

      Delete
  9. Thumbprints are an absolute christmas staple for me! But I've never made chocolate ones before!! Must try this! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Monica!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanksgiving was great; hope you had a great one, too! I don't know why chocolate thumbprints aren't more common. They should be. ; )

      Delete
  10. Thumbprints just scream holiday for me! I tried making some last year and they came out horrible LOL Trying your recipe this year cuz at least I know they will be perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - I have been there with kitchen/baking mishaps. I bet they still tasted great. Hope you try these. Enjoy the holidays!

      Delete
  11. Monica, these thumbprint chocolate cookies with a gooey peppermint ganache looks delicious...so cute and so festive!
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Juliana - thanks so much! Gotta love the holidays and the perfect excuse to bake and enjoy sweet treats like cookies. ; )

      Delete
  12. Oh my God, these chocolate thumbprint looks amazing, Monica. And that peppermint ganache is speaking to me. I would love to grab a few of them right now.

    Anu
    www.mygingergarlickitchen.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anu. Chocolate and peppermint, plus cookies of all kinds, are great indulgences in December. ; P

      Delete
  13. Love the peppermint ganache! These cookies look like the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie platter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your spritz cookies put me right into the holiday spirit, too. Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Such elegant little cookies (I love the sparkle and the sprinkles) and the peppermint ganache sounds delicious! I don't think I ever read through a thumbprint recipe before to learn how the perfectly round indents are made. A wooden spoon handle! Perfect size! I second your hope for a relaxing holiday filled with peace and goodwill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing how many things there are to learn and try...it never ends. Yes, have a wonderful calm holiday season!

      Delete
  15. Oh, là là! These cookies look so terrific!

    ReplyDelete
  16. How did I miss these little gems? My word what a brilliant idea chocolate and peppermint together. Get the kettle going? BTW what is your favorite social media you interact on with Playing with Flour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to believe but this is basically my standalone hobby on its own, no social media. Crazy, I know...

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...