Let’s start August with the perfect cookie recipe, straight from the outstanding Tate’s Bakeshop cookbook! There’s nothing better than these bite-sized cookies with a hot cup of coffee or tea, especially if you make them to take to work on a humdrum Monday morning. You’ll be the office favorite of the week, for sure.
And, what’s even better is that they are very easy to make.
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
For the cookies
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped pecans
For the filling
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp. vegetable oil
Make the cookies
1. Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe medium bowl on Medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals, until fully melted and smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until tepid, but still fluid.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. One at a time, beat in the egg yolks, followed by the tepid chocolate and the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture, just until combined. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
3. Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
4. Using a heaping teaspoon for each, roll the dough into 78 marble-sized balls, putting them in a baking pan or platter. (If you wish, you can cover the balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until foamy. One at a time, dip each ball in the whites, roll in the pecans, and arrange 11/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate the remaining balls until ready to bake. Using your thumb (or, if you have long fingernails, the end of a wooden spoon), press an indentation into the center of each cookie.
5. Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies look set, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, and, using your thumb (or the end of the wooden spoon), re- form the center indentation in each cookie. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cookies are crisp, about 10 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining balls, egg whites, and pecans, on cooled baking sheets.
Make the filling:
6. Heat the chocolate and oil together in a microwave-safe bowl on Medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals, until fully melted and smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until tepid but still fluid.
7. Using a teaspoon, fill the indentations with the chocolate mixture. Let stand until the chocolate sets (you can refrigerate them to speed things up).
(Recipe borrowed from Tate’s Bakeshop- Baking for Friends, pages 117-118; also accessible at http://www.tatesbakeshop.com )