Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies
It’s cookie season, finally. Time to bake a batch of these chocolate mint thumbprint cookies, my new favorite sweet.
Though “Christmas cookie” sounds like a rigidly defined category, in fact the flavors that can appear in sweets this time of year range widely, a delightful development. Maybe you have a must-make traditional cookie in your house. But if you don’t, I love the ability to think as broadly as possible, since so many sweets seem to fit the bill, from cut-out sugar cookies with decorative icing (of course) to frosted orange-flavored cookies with candied rinds. Why not fill the cookie plate with gingersnaps, all-American snickerdoodles, or even cowboy cookies while you’re at it?
Though the combo of mint and chocolate has a place in my heart all year long, I’m happy to note that the bright combination is especially welcome as wreathes and trees grace our living rooms and twinkly strands light the dark-at-5pm streets around here.
I count thumbprint cookies as homemade classics all year long, too. Jam-filled thumbprints were one of the first baking projects my sisters and I took on when we were little. And so, when I saw chocolate, mint, and thumbprint in one recipe title in the brilliant cookbook Baked Explorations, I knew these would be the Christmas cookies of 2015. They’re like candy cane chocolate bark in cute cookie form.
In the original recipe, the centers are filled with a minty white chocolate, which looks pretty and innocently sweet. I decided to go all dark chocolate, for a little more elegance and mystique. Also, the move let me eliminate cream from the ingredient list and use one of my favorite tricks–I learned it both from trying to make things dairy free and also from not wanting to go out to buy cream–which is making a chocolate ganache using water. It actually lets the chocolate flavor shine through most brightly, but other than that you won’t notice a difference.
Do you have a go-to Christmas cookie? Or do you pick a new one every year?
- 2 ounces good dark chocolate or your favorite chocolate chips
- 2 ounces mint chocolate (I adore Equal Exchange's Dark Chocolate Mint)
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarse sugar, for rolling
- 3 ounces chocolate OR 3 ounces mint chocolate
- (If using plain chocolate ONLY) ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and mint chocolate together (you can also use a microwave), just until melted. Remove and cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- In another, larger bowl, use a handheld or stand mixer to beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Scrape the melted chocolate into the bowl and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and then add the flour all at once, mixing on low so you don't make a mess. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and beat just until the dough is smooth. Gather it together, place on a sheet of plastic, press into a disk, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the coarse sugar into a shallow bowl.
- Gently form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, squeezing to make sure they don't have any cracks. Roll each ball through the coarse sugar to coat, then place on the baking sheet.
- Use your thumb or the top of a wooden spoon to make an indentation in the cookies. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and reinforce the indentation using the top of the wooden spoon. Bake for another 2 to 5 minutes, watching carefully and pulling the cookies at the first sight of cracking.
- Let the cookies set on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- When the cookies are cool, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Bring some water to boil. Measure out 3 tablespoons and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then use a spatula to mix until smooth. If you used plain chocolate, add the mint extract.
- Spoon the chocolate mixture into the cookies' indentations. Refrigerate until set, 15 to 30 minutes. You can store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container, or keep them in the fridge.
There are tons of other holiday cookies at FN Dish’s Fall Fest. Check em out below!
The Lemon Bowl: Chocolate Peanut Butter Dipped Shortbread
Creative Culinary: Old Fashioned Date Nut Bars
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Almond-Sugar Cookies With Pepitas & Apricot
Red or Green: Kahlua-Spice Brownies
TasteBook: Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Figgy Cardamom Snickerdoodles
The Mom 100: The Best No-Bake Haystack Cookies
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Almond and Apricot Cookies
Healthy Eats: 5 Ideas for a Healthier Holiday Cookie Swap
FN Dish: 5 Fan-Favorite Holiday Cookies Worth Preheating Your Oven For