December 18, 2015
Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
So, for the rest of the year, you can pretty much expect all sorts of sweet and decadent treats.
This year, I again participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. In this cookie exchange, you send three different bloggers a dozen of cookies and receive three dozen in return. I received chocolate mocha oreos from Melanie Makes, cranberry oatmeal bliss cookies from the Lady Behind the Curtain, and milk chocolate toffee brown butter cookies from the Little Kitchen. Um, yum, yum, and yum! For the last few months, I had been trying to decide what type of cookies to make. I wanted to do something with gingerbread, but I wanted to do something different from the regular gingerbread cookie. Say "hello" to Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies!
"Hello, Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies!"
These cookies combine gingerbread and chocolate. Can you get any better than that during this time of the year? I'm always a sucker for any cookie with chocolate, and gingerbread and Christmas just go together so well. These cookies are soft and chewy from the molasses and have a mild spice with gingerbread and chocolate flavors. Plus, they are topped with a button of chocolate. You can never have enough chocolate, right?
I made chocolate and white chocolate ganaches for these cookies. The original recipe called for just chocolate. I've combined gingerbread and white chocolate before, so I couldn't resist making a white chocolate ganache. Every year, a group of friends and I go to Christmas tea, and there are usually butterscotch gingerbread scones--butterscotch and gingerbread make for a divine combination, in case you have not tried it. With that in mind, I tried making a few different types of butterscotch ganaches using butterscotch chips, but none turned out very well. All turned out a little clumpy and watery, unfortunately. Until I perfect the butterscotch ganache, I'll stick to chocolate ganaches. :)
I am hosting my annual Christmas cookie exchange party this week end, and I can't wait to share pictures with you! The cookie exchange party is one of my favorite parts about Christmas. I love it for so many reasons - baking and eating, sharing good food with good people, and the spirit of giving! Having so many of my incredible friends and their cookies (baked with love) in my house just bring such a happy, good feeling that I wish I could bottle up to share. There is something so special and fun about cookie exchanges. I think there should end up being over 600 cookies... bring on the sugar coma!
Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 3 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
180 grams (1 1/2 cups) and 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
6 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, for coating the cookies
For the ganache:
3/4 cup semi-sweet, bittersweet, or white chocolate
5 tbsp. butter
1 1/4 tsp. molasses
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and ginger into a bowl, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, dark brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Then, add the egg until completely mixed, and then the molasses.
Add in the dry mixtures, and reduce to low speed to mix until the ingredients are combined. Once combined, remove the dough and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Pour the turbinado sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll tablespoons of the dough into the turbinado sugar, coating completely. Place on the baking sheets.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies set on the edges but still are soft. Remove from the oven and make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie using your thumb or a small spoon. Return to the oven to finish baking, for about 5 minutes. Then, remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool.
While the cookies cool, making the ganache filling. Place the chocolate, butter, and molasses in a heatproof bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 second bursts, and stir until well after each interval.
Then, transfer the ganache to a piping bag or a small ziplock bag (snip off a tiny part of the corner). Fill each cookie with ganache, and sit at room temperature until the ganache firms.
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Sift magazine