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Why you will love it?
Let’s begin by saying these cookies are all about the holiday season. I mean, Chocolate and Peppermint right? One of the favorite flavor combinations for this time of the year.
The chocolate cookie base is chewy and soft, the centers are filled with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache that sets to perfection and then topped with crushed candy canes for that added peppermint flavor and crunch. Besides, you can adjust how pepperminty the cookie is with the instructions I will share below and the optional addition of peppermint extract.
On another note, these beautiful and easy cookies to add to your holiday table. These are not only festive and elegant, but very delicious. Especially that glossy ganache center that contrasts with the white and red candy canes, and that sugar coating that makes the cookie sparkle from a distance!
In addition, it is made with very few ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry such as flour, cocoa, butter, and eggs. In fact, the ganache easily comes together with heavy cream and chocolate chips. Certainly, the candy canes are also very easy to find during the holiday season.
Ingredients for Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies:
Here are the ingredients you will need to make these delicious cookies. Additionally, I’ve included a few substitutions and flavor alternatives.
For the cookies:
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour gives cookies structure. However, you can also use 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- Cocoa powder: use unsweetened. Natural or Dutch processed equally work well in this recipe.
- Baking soda: leavening agent for the perfect cookies.
- Salt: boosts cocoa powder and enhances flavor profile.
- Butter: Adds flavor and structure to the cookie. Use unsalted butter at room temperature.
- Sugar: This recipe uses two types of sugar. Brown sugar will add flavor and add moisture to the cookie, keeping it soft and chewy while the white sugar will also sweeten it and let those edges crisp up when browned and is also used for coating the cookie to give it crunch and elegance.
- Egg: you will need just 1 for this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: use your favorite or what you have on hand. Adds delicious flavor to your cookie dough.
For the chocolate ganache:
- Chocolate chips: the chocolate source for your ganache. Can be replaced by chocolate wafers. Do not use candy melts.
- Heavy cream: a high-quality heavy cream can help your ganache remain glossy and homogeneous.
- Candy canes: you’ll need about 2, crushed. After all, this will be your peppermint element so don’t miss it unless you’re making plain chocolate thumbprint cookies. Can substitute with holiday sprinkles if you don’t enjoy peppermint.
- Peppermint extract: this is optional. For instance, at home, we like peppermint moderately, so I left it out but if you want a stronger peppermint flavor go for it!
Tips for making the best Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
Now that you’ve got the ingredients, here are some tips to make sure your cookies turn out perfect:
- Do not overbake: These cookies are chocolate and you won’t be able to tell if they are golden inside the oven, so start checking your cookies 2-3 minutes before the time specified. Ideally, they should just be set on the edges, do not overbake or they will be dry.
- Scooping the cookie dough out is the easiest thing to do for even sizes. However, if you do not have a cookie scoop just use your hands or two spoons and roll out cookie dough into about 1-ounce balls.
- Chill your dough: After you’ve made your cookie dough, shape the cookies, make the indentations, and let them sit in the fridge for 2 hours. This helps your cookies keep their shape and not turn into cookie blobs in the oven by allowing the flour to absorb moisture and the butter to cool.
- The cookies will spread. Remember before baking, separate them into multiple sheets and place them at least 2 inches apart, otherwise, your cookies will stick together.
- Chill your ganache: before filling the cookies, let the ganache set for about 10 minutes so it gains consistency, otherwise, you will have a pool of ganache flowing out of the cookie. The ganache will be set further once it is on the cookie.
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
For the cookies
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 188g
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder 41g
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 8 Tbsp; 113g
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 100g
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided into ⅓ cups 135g
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the ganache filling
- ¾ cup chocolate chips 150gr
- 1/2 cup heavy cream 120ml
- 1/4 cup crushed candy canes 2 large candy canes
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract optional
For the cookie dough:
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and ⅓ (67grams) granulated sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to combine evenly.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. The dough will be thick. Do not overmix.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 tablespoon, and roll each into the remaining ⅓ cup (67 gr) of sugar and place on the lined cookie sheet.
- Using your thumb, the back of a measuring teaspoon, or the cap of a bottle, make an indent in the center of each ball by gently pressing down. Don’t worry if the edge cracks a little.
- Chill the shaped cookies for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove cookies from the refrigerator and divide them into multiple trays lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, spacing them about 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are just set. The cookies will be soft when removing them from the oven but will be set when they cool down. While they are still warm, if desired, repress the indentations if they have lost their shape during baking. Let cool slightly on the cookie sheet.
- Allow them to cool on the sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with ganache.
For the ganache:
- Place chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream on medium-low heat until it begins to gently simmer. Do not let it come to a boil.
- Pour cream over chocolate and cover with a plate, letting it sit for 2 minutes. Slowly stir with a spatula until the chocolate melts and is completely combined with the cream. This mixture should be glossy and homogeneous. If you have some chunks of unmelted chocolate, heat in the microwave in 10-second increments until fully melted. Stir in the peppermint extract if using. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before spooning into cookies.
- Spoon between ½ and 1 teaspoon of ganache into each indentation, until filled and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. The ganache will thicken and will be set to the touch after a few hours, but it will still be soft when you bite into the cookies.
- Cookies can be kept at room temperature for 2 days in an airtight container, or the refrigerator for 10 days. If you live in a hot climate, I would recommend keeping them in the refrigerator to avoid ganache from spoiling.
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction