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Recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints

Author Abby Dodge's delicious crowd pleaser




As a well-known author and baker, Abby Dodge has written ten cookbooks and her site abbydodge.com is chock full of great ideas for holiday baking and gifts. Here is her recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints, it makes 18 cookies. Photo credit: The Everyday Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge. Click here to purchase. 

For the cookies:

  • 8 Tbs. (4 oz./113 g) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/3 (2 3/8 oz./67 g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • if lumpy 
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. pure peppermint extract 
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 oz./128 g) unbleached all-purpose flour 

For the filling and assembly:

  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./57 g) chopped bittersweet chocolate 
  • 3 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./42 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 
  • 1/3 cup (1 5/8 oz./46 g) chopped peppermint hard candies 

Make the cookies:

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas 4). Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners. 

2. Put the butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters). Beat on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute. 

3. Using a 1-Tbs. mini scoop, shape the dough into balls and lightly roll them in your palms to smooth the edges. Arrange them about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Using a round 1/2 tsp. measure, press down into the middle of each mound to make a well that is almost as deep as the dough ball. If the dough sticks to the measuring spoon, dip the bottom of the spoon in a little flour. Small cracks in the ball are fine but if the edges break open, reroll and try again. The finished cookies will look better and hold the filling without leaking if the edges are smooth. 

4. Bake until the tops look dry, 14 to 16 minutes. Move the cookie sheet to a rack and let cool for about 5 minutes then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. 

Make the filling and assemble:

1. Put the chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth.  (This can also be done in the microwave.) Remove from the heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened. 

2. Arrange the cooled cookies on a cookie sheet or sheet pan. Using a small spoon, drizzle the thickened and cooled chocolate into each indentation, filling just to the rim but not to overflowing. Alternatively, scrape the chocolate into one corner of a small zip-top plastic bag, press out the air, and seal. Cut off a small piece of the corner and pipe the chocolate into the indentations. Set the cookies aside until the chocolate filling is set but still tacky to the touch, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the tops with the chopped peppermint candies. Let cool completely before stowing or serving. 

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