Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cookie Time

A cookie makes the moment so much better.

And if you make these Chocolate Thumbprints, you will have many happy times.

The recipe comes from “Martha Stewart’s Cookies” Cookbook.

In theory, Martha Stewart scares me. Her prim and proper way. Her perfect enunciation. Her navy blue wardrobe. She’s not exactly warm and cuddly.

But, I’ve grown to appreciate her fabulousness. My Dad always sweated Martha. Back when she had her first program on PBS, he would watch her religiously and compare all of my Mom’s cooking techniques to those of Martha.

“Martha would do it this way,” he would say, while carving my Mom’s roast.

I remember Dad marveling over an episode during which Martha was out back in her vast New England garden collecting leaves and greenery for Thanksgiving dinner. My unimpressed full-time working mother of three with no staff exclaimed, “Give me a break,” while shaking her head. There were probably some explicative peppering this outburst.

Although dried leafery did not make it onto our holiday table, the meal of course rocked.

I totally get my Mom’s point regarding Martha. Who can really live up to that level of perfection? It seems so daunting. Perhaps this is why my cooking idols, I mean the ones who are close to my soul, are more along the lines of Nigella Lawson and Lydia Bastianich and my Mommom Sacco, who has never had her own TV program, but probably should.

Anyways, I’ve made a few recipes from Martha’s cookbook. And they’ve all been stellar. My father-in-law raved about the Chocolate Thumbprints while eating a bundle. The cookie merges simple shortbread with a dark chocolate filling. The rich chocolate melts into the tender shortbread. It’s a glorious thing.

They go perfectly with a tall glass of milk.

And they surely will impress those with whom you are sharing.

Chocolate Thumbprints
From “Martha Stewart’s Cookies”
By Martha Stewart
Makes 4 1/2 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, the confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium until combined.

Form balls using 2 tsp. of dough for each; place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into cookies to make deep, wide indentations. Rotate pan, and return to oven; bake until light brown on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes more. (If the indentations begin to lose definition, remove cookies from oven and press again.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine chocolate, the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter, and the corn syrup in a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool a bit until slightly thickened. Fill thumbprints with the chocolate mixture, and set aside to firm up. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Please note: It is recommended to have a bowl of ice water ready to cool off your thumb while pressing into the hot dough to make thumbprints.


  1. Can't wait to make these around the holidays.

  2. Suzie,

    I have made her chocolate thumbprints before but they were chocolate shortbread too. I've never seen this variation but I bet they too are excellent. The ganache in the center was HEAVENLY, and made so much that I kept the leftover in the squeeze bottle to use as my own "chocolate syrup" for months.

    I'll need to make these again this year for Xmas.

  3. Hi Blair!

    Thanks for stopping by. These cookies are AWESOME. You would love them.