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.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

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Buttery Shortbread Cookies

When anyone mentions dessert, we tend to think of ooey-gooey concoctions dripping in chocolate, filled with creamy frosting, or drizzled in caramel. “Plain” old shortbread doesn’t usually come to mind. Well, these cookies are here to change all that. They are bursting with the flavor of butter, the aroma of vanilla, and a nice hint of background saltiness. When you bite into one, it crumbles beautifully in your mouth and then melts away as you chew.

These cookies are the perfect vehicle for jam. Or, like in the first picture, lemon curd. Or you can just smother it in frosting. But I feel like that would overwhelm the shortbread as a unique and delicious flavor all on its own. These are a great ending to a nice meal. Serve with coffee for dipping!
Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Shortcut Baklava

shortcut baklava cup

My mom and I were making some spanakopitas the other night and we had a couple of sheets of leftover phyllo dough. I thought it would be a good idea to cut the dough into squares, stick them into a muffin tin and bake them to make little cups for a dessert. I then made a less-complicated version of baklava filling on the stove top and spooned it into the pre-baked cups. It was so easy and tasty!

You can make it even easier by buying already-made phyllo cups at your grocery store. But for those who like working with phyllo, I’ve included directions below on how to make these.

I love desserts that use nuts and honey and the wonderful thing about this shortcut baklava is that you can taste as you go and adjust flavors to your liking. Don’t like cloves? You can substitute allspice instead. Only have pistachios in your pantry? Just use a cup of those! This would also be tasty with some lemon zest or some almond extract. Experiment and see what you get! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…