December 23, 2010

Nutty Chocolate Thumbprints Revisited

In preparation for my workplace potluck last week, I made up another batch of the Nutty Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie recipe featured in the most current (December 2010) issue of Cook's Country.  These cookies had been a big hit at our family Thanksgiving feast, so I figured they'd likewise be appreciated by my colleagues.  In addition, after getting some feedback from folks at the Cook's Country bulletin board and Facebook pages, I wanted to try out the technique for drizzling melted chocolate presented in that issue, which hadn't really gone so well the last time.

The technique is pretty straight-forward.   Melt some chocolate (or, in this case, white chocolate) chips, let the melted chocolate cool a bit, pour it into a plastic bag, snip one corner of the bag and squeeze the bag to drizzle the chocolate through the hole.  Last time, it didn't go well.  On both tries, the chocolate clumped up pretty quickly, and the bag burst after only a couple squeezes of chocolate.   I was told that I'd probably been too impatient and hadn't allowed the chocolate to cool enough before putting it into the baggie.   So, this time I waited twice as long as I had the second of the two times before (a bit over 5 minutes). 

Unsurprisingly, the helpful individuals who gave me feedback - including Ronna F, the person who submitted the recipe to the magazine's annual Christmas Cookie Contest - were right.  This time the routine worked great!  My thanks, to Ronna and to everyone else who offered me feedback.

Ready to go into the oven.
Top:  Strawberry Jam
Middle:  Apricot
Bottom:  Raspberry
Fresh out of the oven.
This time the raspberry ones are at the top
of the picture.

I should note that the original recipe was for Nutty Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprints, and called for raspberry jam as a filling for the cookies, but that I wanted a bit more variety in my cookies, both visually and flavor-wise, so I used three different jams:  raspberry, strawberry and apricot.   All turned out well, but Juli and several of my coworkers preferred the apricot ones.

One other change I made from the recipe as printed was that the printed version called for filling the cookies with only 1/2 teaspoon of jam.  I used a heaping half-teaspoon (so, closer to a whole teaspoon) per cookie.  As the cookies baked, and the jam softened and sunk into the indentations, this proved too much for two of the cookies, as they burst and the melted jam ran out the sides.  The others turned out great, but the extra jam pushed the sides of the cookies outward a bit, making for a larger cookie and causing Juli to call these ones Hoofprint Cookies in place of Thumbprint.   I'm happy with the result, as - in my opinion, at least - the extra jam puts the filling on a more even footing with the rich, chocolate and nut flavors of the cookie.

In any case, the cookies turned out great, and were well-received at the potluck.  Two tries, two successes.  This recipe is a keeper, and I'm sure I'll be revisiting it again.

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