I think I’ve mentioned before that I try to always have freshly baked cookies on hand. A cookie and a cappuccino is my go to breakfast so I’m constantly looking for new recipes. This one reminds me of thumbprints that I usually bake during the holidays, but instead of topping them with jam here you fill them with melted chocolate. What’s not to like with almonds, chocolate and a sprinkling of sea salt?
The dough comes together quickly and while the cookies are baking you can make the chocolate filling. Should you have any filling left over, refrigerate it and warm up later to use on your favorite ice cream.
Chocolate Filled Almond Thumbprints (adapted from Food 52)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup almond meal (I usually buy this at Trader Joes)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature + 2 tablespoons (for chocolate filling)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 teaspoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two small baking sheets (or one large one) with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and almond meal. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer. Beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few more seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the almond meal-flour mixture a little at a time. Beat just until just incorporated into the dough — don’t overmix.
Scoop teaspoon-sized balls of dough and roll them to form small balls. Place the balls about 2” apart on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Make sure you don’t press through the dough, but make sure the centers are plenty deep and wide to hold the chocolate filling. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are only slightly colored around the edges; be careful to not overbake. I like to rotate cookie sheets half way through.
About 10 minutes in, check the thumbprint indentations — if they seem too shallow, remove the cookie sheet and depress the centers while the dough is still soft. When done, remove the baking sheets from oven and transfer the cookies to cooling racks.
To make chocolate filling: Using a double boiler or a small heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter, and golden syrup. Stir until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. When cookies are cool, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate, and then sprinkle with sea salt. Allow about an hour for the chocolate centers to set. Yield: 18-24 cookies