Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Chambord-Mascarpone Filling – also known as my favorite cookies of all time

Chocolate thumbprint cookies with mascarpone chambord filling

chambord mascarpone cookies

From the archives: This was originally published on 2/14/10, however I’ve noticed renewed interest with the holidays coming up. People have been using this recipe for Christmas cookie swaps or holiday baking exchanges. And why not? It’s elegant and tasty! So read on for the recipe!

My mom found the recipe for these cookies in our local newspaper’s holiday cookie contest. When she makes them, they look like they came out of a professional bakery. When I make them, they look like they were a 5-year-old’s first baking project. But it doesn’t really matter because, lucky for us, they’re delicious either way.

I’m not going to lie to you; they’re a lot of work. You have to make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough and coat in sugar, make the filling, fill the cookies, and then melt and pipe chocolate over the top. But, again, these are my favorite cookies ever and I will gladly put in the work because the end product is just so fantastic.

The cookies are flavorful and crunchy on the outside. The filling is creamy, sweet, and full of berry flavor. The chocolate topping is deep and rich and perfectly complements the cookies. They are ideal to serve to company because they have the right combination of fancy-schmancy and homemade rustic-ness about them.

The combination of Chambord and mascarpone is a winner. The Chambord gives the filling a rich berry flavor. You can substitute any berry liqueur or brandy. I bet cherry brandy or creme de cassis would be great here. Or you can leave out the alcohol altogether and add a teaspoon of raspberry extract. Mascarpone is awesome – creamy and fresh and yummy. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, you can actually make your own. You could probably also substitute cream cheese, but I haven’t tried that so I don’t know how it would taste.

But you have to make them! I’ve never had anything like these cookies before. The flavor combination is unbelievable.

From: Kathy Nasano

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Chambord-Mascarpone Filling

makes 28-32 cookies

Cookies:

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (Good quality brand like Valhrona or Scharffen Berger. Make sure it’s regular, not dutch process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for coating the cookies

Filling:

4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Chambord black raspberry liqueur (or another type of berry liquer or brandy)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Garnish:

4 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla until incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt. While beating butter mixture, add dry ingredients in two batches. Blend until incorporated.
  3. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour and as long as overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Sprinkle granulated sugar into a shallow dish. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball into beaten egg white, then roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Press thumb into center of each cookie. (My mom suggests using the bottom of a teaspoon measuring spoon instead of your thumb to get a pretty, even circle.) Make sure to leave 2-3″ of space between each cookie because they will s-p-r-e-a-d.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. The egg white/sugar mix will have formed  a nice crust on the cookies. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Mix mascarpone, Chambord and powdered sugar in a small bowl. I would sift the powdered sugar next time because my mix was  a little lumpy. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each cookie.
  8. Melt chocolate in the microwave and use an icing bag or ziplock bag to drizzle some on each cookie. Allow chocolate to set.

My process for melting and drizzling chocolate goes like this: Put a ziplock bag over a cup, making sure one corner of the bag is inside the cup.

melting and drizzling chocolate using a ziplock bag

Next, melt the chocolate and spoon it into the corner of the bag sitting in the cup.

Finally, pull the ends of the bag up off the cup, push as much air as possible out of the bag, twist and seal it. Snip off a teeny tiny piece of the edge and pipe the chocolate out. Work quickly since the chocolate will start to set and will clog up your teeny tiny cut.

piping chocolate with a zip lock bag

Here’s how I set up my workstation when rolling out the cookies: Dough, egg white, sugar, baking sheet. It helps to have everything in place before taking the dough out of the fridge.

chocolate cookie dough egg white sugar cookie sheet

It’s a little difficult to roll the sugar onto the cookies. The best advice I can give is to let as much of the egg white drip off as possible before rolling in the sugar. Otherwise, you will get this:

chocolate cookie dough rolled in white granulated sugar

Leave plenty of space between the cookies. They will spread!

cookies on baking sheet

They will spread A LOT. Also, they look really ugly here, but don’t worry! The finished product will cover up the imperfections.

chocolate cookies after baking

The filling only consists of three ingredients, but they are heavenly together.

chambord powdered sugar mascarpone filling

When combined, they become a gorgeous shade of very pale purple. Did I mention the filling tastes absolutely divine? Creamy, dreamy, and bursting with berry flavor.

mascarpone chambord cookie filling

Even after I add the filling, the cookies look like a mess. It must be the final step of zig-zagging the melted chocolate on top that makes everything come together.

chocolate cookies with mascarpone berry filling

They’re tasty without the chocolate on top, but why not go all the way? It makes them look irresistible and decadent. Nobody can resist these cookies. I promise.

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12 Comments

  1. Wow, these look great! Yes, a lot of work, but I’m sure they’re worth it; I think I’d make a double batch for a party – might as well while you’ve started, eh? The flavors are SO great together, aren’t they? Chambord is a gift from the liquor gods, in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Yes, SO good! This would probably be fun to make DURING a party and have your guests help out — one to shape the cookies, one to add the filling, one to pipe the chocolate.

  2. These cookies do look yummy. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for the Chambord?

    Reply
    • Sure, Memoria! Try mixing in one tablespoon of frozen raspberry concentrate or 1.5 teaspoons of raspberry extract + 1 tablespoon water. I also don’t see why a couple of pureed raspberries wouldn’t work! Let us know if you try any of these and how they come out!

  3. Kathy Nasano

     /  June 29, 2010

    I just came across this and am THRILLED that you liked my recipe!!! Thanks so much for the great write up!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the amazing recipe, Kathy! They have become my mom’s go-to cookie for special occasions.

  4. Lisa

     /  December 13, 2010

    I can’t wait to try this recipe but I do have one question. Do the cookies have to be refrigerated after they are made since the filling is cheese?

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, that’s a great question. To be safe, the answer is that you should always refrigerate perishables. But in the same breath, I will tell you that we have eaten these after 3 days of standing on the counter covered in plastic wrap and they have tasted great and not given anybody stomach troubles. I think mixing the alcohol with the cheese helps preserve it, though that’s complete speculation on my part.

  5. Denise

     /  December 6, 2011

    Hello…hoping to make these cookies for a cookie exchange this weekend. Does the chocolate set & hard so the cookies dont become messy when packed? Thanks Denise

    Reply
    • Hi Denise, the chocolate itself does become hard, however the mascarpone remains pretty soft so I advise against stacking the cookies on top of each other because it would mess up the cheese layer. One idea to transport them could be to put the cookies into muffin tins. Another idea is to use wider, flatter tupperware containers so you can hold the cookies in a single layer. Sorry they are not more transport-friendly.

  6. Lisa

     /  December 12, 2011

    Sounds great! I am making cookies with my family this weekend and was wondering if you think using a raspberry compote instead of the liquor would work. I am making them with little children and since the liquor isn’t cooked out i thought this might work as a substitute.

    Lisa

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I am not sure but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. If you try it, please do come back and share if it worked. I would also like to say that since the amount of Chambord used is so small (2 tablespoons) and its alcohol content relatively low (16%), and the large amount of cookies made (about 30), that it really isn’t much alcohol at ALL per cookie and I doubt it would effect the kiddos. However, I understand your concern, and it sounds as if you thought up a good substitute. Happy Baking!

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