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
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
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Chambord black raspberry liqueur (or another type of berry liquer or brandy)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
4 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 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.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt. While beating butter mixture, add dry ingredients in two batches. Blend until incorporated.
- Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour and as long as overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
Leave plenty of space between the cookies. They will spread!
They will spread A LOT. Also, they look really ugly here, but don’t worry! The finished product will cover up the imperfections.
The filling only consists of three ingredients, but they are heavenly together.
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.
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.
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.