Thumbprint Cookies – with Chocolate Ganache

Let the holiday baking begin!!! I love baking from the scratch and it really is very satisfying to see mixing ingredients coming together in the oven to form a tasty bite :). What I like most about thumbprint cookies is the extra step they call for where you indent with your thumb – how much more personal can you get? :). leaving an impression in the cookie and then filling it with your choice of preserve, chocolate or/and caramel etc…etc… These are really good for holiday gifting and the simple variations that they have are amazing. I “googled” and found a ton of recipes on the web – check out Martha Stewart’s website, she has at least a dozen of them on her site. I chose this one from her “Hazelnut Thumbprint” and went about with my own variation.

This is what you need:
1 stick unsalted softened butter (1/2 cup)
– 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
– 1/2 cup toasted silvered almonds, ground
– 1/2 cup chocolate ganache for the filling

This is how you make:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer ; mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, this should take about 2-3 mins. Now add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low and  add flour and salt, and mix until just combined.
Step 2: Refrigerate dough for 30 mins to 2 hours. ( you are basically doing this to bring the dough together if it is very soft – tip courtesy: http://www.joyofbaking.com/ThumbprintCookies.html)
Step 3: Stir together toasted almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl.
Step 4: Roll dough into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in almond-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down center of each ball with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press down centers again with the end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven. Bake cookies until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Fill each center with chocolate ganache.

Ganache Recipe:
Step 1: Take a sauce pan on low heat and bring 1/2 cup of heavy whip cream to a boil and then stir in 2 tablespoons of milk chocolate (adjust sugar as needed).
Step 2: Add in coffee or coffee liquor (optional)
step 3: cool and use it as a filling for the thumbprint cookies

This recipe made 15 delicious cookies and we have just about 2 left 🙂 (My first cookies for the Holidays…)
Here is the link to Martha Stewart’s collection http://www.marthastewart.com/search/apachesolr_search/Thumbprint.

Carpe Diem!

I am sending this recipe for the holiday recipe exchange – Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.

AND also to Jingle all the way event at http://myedibles.blogspot.com/2011/11/jingle-all-way-event-announcement.html

AND at Let’s bake and be merry

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