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Chocolate Thumbprints

These cookies are wrapped in the spirit of the season.

  • yield: Makes 90

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate and Vanilla-Bean Ganache

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.

  2. Step 2

    Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, and roll each in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers again.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool.

  3. Step 3

    Spoon warm ganache into center of each cookie. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2008

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Reviews (60)

  • MN Mom 10 Jan, 2013

    I also reduced the salt by 1/4 tsp, but still left the salt amount on the high side because of the popularity of dark chocolate with sea salt in the family. I also made it easy on myself by using vanilla extract for the ganache instead of the beans and letting chocolate chips sit in the hot cream mixture and then stirring to make the ganache-no processor needed.

  • MN Mom 10 Jan, 2013

    This is my 24 year old son's new favorite Christmas cookie beating out molasses gingerbread men cookies! They're small but very flavorful and indulgent. I decided to add a little extra holiday flare by melting white chocolate and striping the tops of the cookies with it-very beautiful and inviting!

  • elvira101 6 Dec, 2011

    If you like chocolate, especially bitter chocolate this recipe is a keeper. In my family we all like just dark chocolate (kids included) so these cookies were a hit for us. Easy to make but did not add all that salt, sorry, other than that followed the recipe to the Z. Incredible

  • Freidel 12 Dec, 2010

    I made this recipe and it is relatively easy. After reading #15 review I used only 1 teaspoon of salt and it was still too salty. I would probably used half a teaspoon of coarse salt next time to see what happens. The vanilla extract worked perfect and easier.

  • Freidel 12 Dec, 2010

    I made this recipe and it is relatively easy. After reading #15 review I used only 1 teaspoon of salt and it was still too salty. I would probably used half a teaspoon of coarse salt next time to see what happens. The vanilla extract worked perfect and easier.

  • Brookev 6 Dec, 2010

    These are SO YUMMY!!!! Chocolate lovers, you will not be disappointed.

  • tdgutman 4 Dec, 2010

    These were very good but overly salty. I thought the amount of salt was abit high, but who am I to question Martha...I'll make them a gain but with half the amount of salt. They still tasted good and people raved about them but all commented on the salt. I also did half with nutella as the filling...HUGE hit!

  • Pebbles22 12 Nov, 2010

    Hey there,

    Can these be freezed? And if so, for how long? Thank you :)

  • MarthaandMeBlogger 12 Oct, 2010

    Killer! I'm going to make these every year. You can see my results here: http://marthaandme.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/chocolate-thumbprint-cookies/

  • saradomca 25 Feb, 2010

    i think that they are very good. i would make them again i just wouldn't add the sugar on the outside.

  • rchamelin 27 Dec, 2009

    WOW, this was the BEST recipe. I took them to a cookie potluck at my church and they were gone before i knew it, even before all the other ones. WOW, they taiste like lava cake in cookie form. Thanks so much Martha, your the best

  • lisamaria 26 Dec, 2009

    Sorry I had to type 3 times, but it won't post if I write more than a couple sentences. I agree with all. The processor is not necessary, and the chocolate is not woth all the effort, like someone said. These hardy moved off my cookie tray..not good!

  • lisamaria 26 Dec, 2009

    I didn't care for the filling..too bitter. These cookies are not worth the effort. I would not make them again.

  • lisamaria 26 Dec, 2009

    How come when I post a comment it never shows up???????????

  • iansmommy 24 Dec, 2009

    Well, these look delicious. Mine did not turn out at all...they did not hold their shape and they were sweating butter. Any suggestions?

  • Sheylavee 21 Dec, 2009

    A friend made these, although I'm not a chocolate lover, I really liked these. I even made them for a Women's Holiday Coffee that I catered along with the sesame cookies and they loved them. They looked pretty too.

  • erinchita 13 Dec, 2009

    Just made this for a cookie exchange. Very easy to make. Used a 1-1/2 inch scoop and got about 50 cookies. They came out pretty good. My only complaint is that the ganache just tastes like regular old chocolate. For all the work, the expensive vanilla beans, etc...I was hoping the flavors would be more pronounced. I could have gotten the same taste from a bottle of ice cream topping.

  • Glitteratii 21 Jan, 2009

    I'm posting again because I complained about the salt, but actually my husband liked the contrast ..... as carmenzacamora stated...keep an open mind and you may find the saltiness a nice way to offset the very rich chocolate

  • carmenzacamora 24 Dec, 2008

    These came out great. The coarse salt in this recipe is not supposed to dissolve completely. As a pastry chef, I can tell when a recipe is pushing the envelope; just keep an open mind and you may be pleasantly surprised! This is a cookie that is meant to be savored, it's not chocolate chip. Also, be careful subbing table salt- 2 t of reg salt is a lot more than 2 t coarse.

  • AdieD 24 Dec, 2008

    I got the recipe from the internet It is 2 teaspoons of salt. The cookies were great! I substituted vanilla extract for vanilla bean. The vanilla bean was too expensive. AdieD

  • KStevenson 24 Dec, 2008

    I made these tonight and didn't have vanilla bean so used grand mariner instead........deliciious. My husband who is not a big cookie fan ate five in a row and told me to hide the rest from the kids. I used less salt as recommended by others.......these are a keeper

  • Glitteratii 23 Dec, 2008

    Delicious! But, I agree, dough is a bit too salty, even after putting on the ganache - so next time I will cut salt by 1/2. I used 1 inch cookie scoop and have a simple digital scale which I used to make sure each ball was around 15 grams. I think I'll only get 60 cookies total - Maybe 10 grams would give 90 cookies. I've baked about half the dough and have 30 in the 1st batch. But definitely a new tradition!! I bet they'd be good with a touch of peppermint or orange flavor in the dough.

  • Glitteratii 23 Dec, 2008

    Delicious! But, I agree, dough is a bit too salty, even after putting on the ganache - so next time I will cut salt by 1/2. I used 1 inch cookie scoop and have a simple digital scale which I used to make sure each ball was around 15 grams. I think I'll only get 60 cookies total - Maybe 10 grams would give 90 cookies. I've baked about half the dough and have 30 in the 1st batch. But definitely a new tradition!! I bet they'd be good with a touch of peppermint or orange flavor in the dough.

  • frenchlizi 23 Dec, 2008

    These are definatly a new family tradition! The cocoa vs. baking chocolate give it a terrific bite! Super fun to make with children!

  • rufus31 22 Dec, 2008

    The cookies are really good but I would cut back on the salt by half if I make them again. I did get about 48 cookies by using a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop and they were just the right size for 2 1/2 inch cupcake papers.

  • nicolehewson 20 Dec, 2008

    I have to agree that this recipe does not make 90 cookies. I used a 1 inch cookie scoop, and the cookies came out great (right baking time, etc), but I only got about 36-40 cookies per batch. Having said that, they tasted great, were easy, and I will be giving them as gifts to everyone I know!

  • Recipemaker 19 Dec, 2008

    These cookies are YUMMY!! My picky husband described them as Unbelievable! I used 1 tsp regular salt as opposed to course salt. I measure the 2 tsp per ball as directed but the recipe made only about 50 cookies not 90. I used the recommended dutch process cocoa. These will be a permanent holiday cookie for me!

  • stephanieslabic 18 Dec, 2008

    I made the dough a few days in advance - and formed it into a flat (rectangular) disc to put in the freezer. Once defrosted, I cut the disc into 90 little squares (9 horizontal cuts, and 10 vertical cuts). Rolling the pieces of dough from this was a PIECE OF CAKE! They baked up beautifully and the ganache is so yummy! In terms of salt - the recipe clearly calls for COARSE salt. I used kosher salt and it was perfect - just a slight salty flavor (which works well with the chocolate)!

  • buenachi 17 Dec, 2008

    Okay, I have a question, what brand exactly is unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder? I got nestle, but Im afraid its the wrong thing...would the recipe work with that? :","2008/12/17 13:07:44.000

  • flowerlvr66 16 Dec, 2008

    The cookies look delicious! I was in the audience that day but they never gave us any. Guess Martha's not quite the hostess she makes herself out to be. Very dissappointing!

  • Princess_19 15 Dec, 2008

    I made these last week and I took the advise of one of the contributors about rolling the dough in raw sugar. I have to say it came out delicious. I eye-balled the size and I got about 98 pieces.Sure, some were big and some small. Overall, I was very satisfied with the outcome. Am saving this one for the holidays.

    Thanks Martha!

  • icookinok 14 Dec, 2008

    Should have read the comments first.Threw the whole expensive batch out.I throught 2tsp course salt was odd, but figured the test kitchens and the recipe editor should know.In these hard times this was a mistake I did not need.Note, if you do make them anyway,make sure your dough is very,very cold.It sticks to scoop.Recipe said to redefine dimple,did not work for me.tried midway through baking and when cooling.Made 63 cookies with a 2tsp scoop.

  • Kerry_berry 14 Dec, 2008

    I would substitute regular table salt (probably 1/2 - 1 tsp.) instead of coarse salt. You can't sift coarse salt (even though it says to) and I now have cookies with chunks of salt in it that didn't dissolve in the wet batter. Not horrible, but a little odd.

  • mareseatoats 14 Dec, 2008

    Two teaspoons of salt!!! Yuck!! I threw the first batch out. I tried again with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and they were wonderful. I also used chocolate frosting in lieu of ganache and put a bit of walnut on top. yummy!!

  • ChefTracey 13 Dec, 2008

    Null- you can buy whole vanilla beans in the spices aisle. Then, take a paring knife and run it lengthwise down the vanilla "bean"- (it's really more of a stick), trying not to split all the way through to the other side. This will keep the back intact, so you can spread it open. Then take the non-sharp edge of your knife and scrape out the insides of the bean- this is the portion you'll add to the ganache. Then, save the bean as directed. Good luck! A Pastry Chef

  • ChefTracey 13 Dec, 2008

    Null- you can buy whole vanilla beans in the spices aisle. Then, take a paring knife and run it lengthwise down the vanilla "bean"- (it's really more of a stick), trying not to split all the way through to the other side. This will keep the back intact, so you can spread it open. Then take the non-sharp edge of your knife and scrape out the insides of the bean- this is the portion you'll add to the ganache. Then, save the bean as directed. Good luck! A Pastry Chef

  • jaclynva 12 Dec, 2008

    For those that did not yield enough cookies.....did you sift the cocoa and the flour? Because she did it on the show...but its not on the recipe....I got about 70 cookies, but I used a 2 tsp scoop rather than a 1 1/2. They taste great!

  • jaclynva 12 Dec, 2008

    For those that did not yield enough cookies.....did you sift the cocoa and the flour? Because she did it on the show...but its not on the recipe....I got about 70 cookies, but I used a 2 tsp scoop rather than a 1 1/2. They taste great!

  • jaclynva 12 Dec, 2008

    I made the salty cookies because I heard it on the show.....so I am making another batch right now....I hope these turn out!

  • jaclynva 12 Dec, 2008

    I made the salty cookies because I heard it on the show.....so I am making another batch right now....I hope these turn out!

  • jaclynva 12 Dec, 2008

    I made them while watching the show....I definitely had salty cookies!!! I am making them again right now....I am crossing my fingers!

  • MACc 12 Dec, 2008

    Did anyone else have trouble with these cookies spreading out like crazy? What did I do wrong?

  • carylg 12 Dec, 2008

    I made these cookies today and they were FABULOUS - a very dense very chocolate cookies. Didn't have course salt so I used 1 tsp of table salt and they were fine. But 90 cookies? This must be a typo - I made 24! I suggest using 1 tablespoon-sized cookies. But delicious they are!

  • clairdouglass 11 Dec, 2008

    I made these today, and I've got to say, they're DELICIOUS. They're more of an adult taste, but VERY good. Also, fairly easy to make using the small sized ice cream scoop. I WOULD suggest using the squeeze bottle. Would have made for less hassle and would have been easier than a spoon for the ganach. BUT....90 cookies? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??? CAN YOU PEOPLE NOT COUNT??? The batch, using the same sized ice cream scoop made 30 ***I REPEAT***THIRTY*** cookies. Grumble.

  • unmistakable1 11 Dec, 2008

    I'm wondering if there should be any baking powder or other leavening agent in these cookies? I just wanted to make sure before I gave these a try! Thanks :)

  • missmarley 11 Dec, 2008

    will these only keep for 3 days? I want to send them out in my cookie treat boxes so they may not be eaten until day 5 or 6.

  • tourtes 11 Dec, 2008

    I heard 2 tablespoons of salt also....found it strange. Could you substitute the cream in the ganache recipe for something else!

  • ednahurst 11 Dec, 2008

    I missed that show. Got recipe from PC. What is Canache and how do you make it?

  • ednahurst 11 Dec, 2008

    1Toffy How do you make your Decadent Hot Fudge Topping. I live in the Country (in Canada) and we're snowed in. This calls for something to use as a backup for the centers HELP SOMEBODY! Edna

  • cac247 11 Dec, 2008

    What kind of coco should I buy? Where can I buy it?

  • Jenclara26 11 Dec, 2008

    Can these cookies be made ahead of time and frozen?

  • gailsey 10 Dec, 2008

    how many ounces is the can of cocoa powder?

  • gailsey 10 Dec, 2008

    If i don't have vanilla beans, what can I use. These cookies look delicious

  • Stargaezer 10 Dec, 2008

    At any craft store, Hobby Lobby, WalMart, Michaels.

  • KaterTot 10 Dec, 2008

    Where did Martha say to buy that little plastic bottle to squeeze in the ganache??

  • KaterTot 10 Dec, 2008

    Where did Martha get that little plastic bottle to squirt in te ganache???

  • 1Toffy 10 Dec, 2008

    I have another tip: I usually roll my cookies in Turbinado Sugar before baking almost all the time now. It gives them a crunch, and sparkle. Regular sugar just doesn't work as well as the Turbinado. It can be bought in the USA in nearly any grocery store in the baking aisle. It is a raw brown colored sugar and coarse in texture.

  • 1Toffy 10 Dec, 2008

    Oh my gosh, that would be so awful. Didn't see the show on this one. I get it in my email.

  • 1Toffy 10 Dec, 2008

    These sound wonderful. My method for making the Ganache will be different. I commented on that page for my "simplify" rendition. I make my own Decadent Hot Fudge Topping, and I know my "simplify" rendition will be just fine. It may make it easier for those that want to try it and do not have the vanilla beans.

  • jmkmini 10 Dec, 2008

    They look great and I can't wait to try them. On the show Martha said 2 Tbl. of salt so I came to the web site to double check. I hope no one copied it from the show and had salty cookies!
    Judy