Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Almond Chocolate Thumbprints

As I mentioned yesterday, I was heading off to my fourth party of the season.  Conny has hosted a cookie exchange for several years (last year she was off in Europe, so we all missed out).  She makes cookies for the exchange, but she also serves some nice savory dishes to balance out the sweet cookies.  A couple of year’s ago, she served Crostini with Mushrooms and Prosciutto  for her cookie exchange.  She keeps all of her December magazines, so she can have party recipes at her fingertips. This year, she had the non-bakers in the group bring the appetizers, and she served Pomegranate Blood Orange Mimosas as her signature drink.  I only saw a quick glimpse of the recipe, but I think this one is close. 

I had a blast last night.  I love seeing everyone’s cookies and hearing the stories behind some of them.   What could be more fun than sipping mimosas, munching cookies and chatting with friends?  If you figure it out let me know. 

My contribution to this year’s cookie exchange was Almond Chocolate Thumbprints.  I found this recipe in The Best of Fine Cooking Cookies magazine.  Thanks to Conny, I now keep all my holiday magazines, and I’ve enjoy flipping through them deciding what I’m going to make.   This is the first year the Almond Chocolate Thumbprints called to me.  I’m glad I finally made them.  I love the sandy texture of these cookies, and the chocolate filling is rich and delicious in these tempting cookies.  The recipe is one of those 3 in 1 cookie dough recipes, so I made a little extra of the Almond Cookie dough to try one of the other recipes.  I’m hoping the Almond Sables will be equally as good.

Almond Cookie Chocolate Thumbprints
Adapted from Fine Cooking
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole almonds
1 ½ cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut in large chunks and slightly softened
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups turbinado (raw) sugar
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

In the bowl of a food processor, process the sugar and salt until it looks powdery and fine, 30 to 60 seconds.  Add the almonds, and process until they are finely chopped, 20 to 30 seconds.  Add the butter, vanilla and almond extract.  Pulse until the butter is fully incorporated and smooth, scrapping the sides of the bowl, if necessary.  Add half the flour and process until incorporated, and then add the second half of the flour and process until a soft dough forms. 

Using a small scoop to measure the dough, roll the dough into one-inch balls.  Roll the balls into the turbinado sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press your thumb into each ball, dipping your thumb in flour as needed.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Remove the cookies from the refrigerator, and arrange them 1 inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Let the cookies sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.  Gently press the center of the cookies with the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon to redefine the depression. Rotate the cookie sheet and continue to bake until the tops of the cookies are lightly colored and the bottoms are golden brown, another 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Make the filling while the cookies cool.  Add the chocolate and butter to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with barely simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is almost melted.  Remove from heat and continue stirring until the mixture has completely melted and is smooth.  Spoon the filling into the depression of each cookie.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.


  1. Okay, now. I will be trying these. If I'm being honest, I just cannot stand when I see a cookie with a Hershey's Kiss jammed in the center. This seems, well, more delicious, homier and is by all means a prettier cookie. Plus, the sugar on the outside is like snowflakes. Thanks Janice!!

  2. Hi Nutsy,

    I think you will like these. I agree with you about the Hershey Kisses. The Kisses are always too sweet for me in a cookie, so I like the chocolate in this recipe is not too sweet. Thanks for visiting! Happy New Year! Janice

  3. What a gorgeous table you did Janice to end the old year! I love that green, it stands out the entire setting, just lovely. The cookies look yummy and everything you've shared this year, for which I thank you very much and I'm looking forward to visiting you more often. Have a very happy New Year 2012!



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