Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprints

Ah! I’m finally home from work for the holidays and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My room’s finally clean<–this one’s huge, I’ve been sucked into a great book series (The Hunger Games), and Christmas baking has slowed down a bit allowing me to share a couple awesome recipes!

Every year my family makes tons of cookies to give away as gifts. When I moved out for college I continued the tradition, baking for my friends and then for my coworkers. This year it seemed like my list quadrupled! I baked for about five nights in a row, coming home from work and baking, baking on the weekend, and going through I don’t even want to know how many packs of butter, sugar, and flour.

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The boxes always contain a  couple traditional cookies: chocolate crinkles, gingerbread men; and a few new one’s include today’s post: Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprints. These are delicious and easy. I’ll probably be adding them to my Christmas cookie box repertoire. They’re chocolately with that festive hint of peppermint. yum!

My mom has been busy working on our Christmas table centerpiece. Isn’t it outstanding? Can you find the cookies? It’s a Christmas Santa Northpole Winterland!

Don’t you want to just sit down and snag a cookie or two or three? oooo yum! So here’s how you make them. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, cocoa powder, and salt. OK- so this is important- I hate it when recipes split up the ingredients because I always happen to not add the correct amount, and only realize it until I come to the part in the recipe that says “using the remainder…”. whoops. So for your convenience I split it up in the ingredient list below to ease any confusion because who needs it at this time of year!

In the bowl of an electric mixer :-), add 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add dry ingredients. Beat until combined. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and toss in a bowl that contains 1/2 cup (abouts) of granulated sugar. I coated some of mine in festive sprinkles.

Place on cookie sheets about 1 inch apart and bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and press a teaspoon measuring spoon, melon baller, or anything with a rounded shape into each of the cookies to form the indentation for the chocolate. Return to oven and bake another 4 minutes until cookies are set but still moist.

While the cookies finish baking, melt semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup of butter. Add the peppermint extract and when cool and thicker, spoon into a plastic baggy and cut off a bit of one corner.

Once cookies are cool, pipe chocolate into the center indentation. Top with crushed peppermint or festive holiday sprinkles!

Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprints

Courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday Food.

Cookie Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1  cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

 

Chocolate Filling Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup)

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup each of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat to combine. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Place 1/2 cup or so of sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch bowl, then roll in sugar to coat. Place on baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon make indentations into each cookie. Bake until cookies are just set, about 4 minutes longer.

While cookies are baking, melt semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup butter in the microwave. Mix in the peppermint extract. Cool long enough that it has thickened. Spoon into a plastic baggy and coat a small hole in one of the corners. Once cookies are cooled, pipe chocolate into the center. Top with crushed peppermints or sprinkles.

Merry Christmas!



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