Thumbprint cookies are a childhood favourite. There’s something so satisfying about pressing your thumb into a soft ball of dough! I think the standard flavour is peanut butter which is filled with jam or jelly, so this is a bit different. Still, I have done peanut butter ones with kisses in the centre (actually, chocolate caramel kisses)!
I made these for Christmas (I know, I know, I’ve really fallen behind in posting) but I think they’d be really cute Valentine’s Day treats… they are kisses, after all! Christmas 2010, I managed to find the candy cane kisses (as mentioned here) but this past Christmas I missed the boat! They were all sold out by the time I went to buy ingredients. Oh well, things like that just force us to be more creative and think about other things that work well! I chose cookies and cream kisses since the white would contrast well against the dark chocolatey cookie, but choose whichever flavour you please! They might even have Valentine’s themed ones…
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 bags Hershey’s Kisses (any flavour, and you will have leftovers!)
Preheat your oven to 350 F and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper (these don’t stick as much as the macaroons, so sticking is less of a concern – use aluminum foil if you like).
Cream the butter and sugar until lightened in colour and fluffy.
Add in the egg yolks, cream (I used half-n-half), vanilla, and salt then mix until smooth. This is actually a really good recipe to make around the same time as the macaroons, since this one uses 2 yolks and the other recipe needs 2 whites! Or you could eat an egg white omelette… but if you’re like me, you probably think that’s no fun.
Add the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. I know, a whole cup of cocoa is a lot (and expensive!) but trust me, it makes these soooo chocolatey. You can also cut down on the expense by buying it at a bulk store – there’s always one around but you might have to hunt (read: google) to find it.
Add in the flour. I said “about” 1 1/2 cups in the ingredients because I tend to withhold a bit of the flour until I see how it’s mixing. If the dough looks too soft, I add the rest. If it looks fine, I leave it out. The original recipe I was working off of (another Martha one) called for 2 cups, but I left out 1/2 a cup for a much more tender cookie. My point is: use your senses and your brain, they’ll tell you when it’s right. Mix in the flour just until the streaks of white disappear – you don’t want to over mix.
Measure out scoops of dough – I used a tablespoon to get even-ish sized cookies – and roll these into balls. Place them on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with two fingertips (otherwise they’re too thick and don’t bake through).
Make a thumbprint in the centre – or, if you want to be exact, use a foil-wrapped kiss to make a depression (just don’t leave it in there!).
Put the cookies in the oven. While you’re waiting on them, unwrap enough kisses for the cookies in the oven (1 per cookie).
After about 8-10 minutes, pull the cookies out. Immediately start squishing the unwrapped kisses into the centre of the cookies – it’s important this is done while the cookies are hot out of the oven or they’ll crumble into pieces! It’s OK if they crack a little though, they look pretty that way!
Let the cookies cool slightly before lifting them off the sheet. Use a spatula to avoid breaking the cookies when you move them to the cooling rack. Let these cool thoroughly before packing into bags or containers, otherwise you’ll smush the kisses all over!
I brought these to a Christmas dinner with my friends and it was downright comical how fast they gobbled them up! These are just one of those things that perfectly mix childhood (kisses) and more grown up (dark chocolate) flavours.