A Dish Best Served Cold: Chocolate Mint Thumbprints

Last night I stopped by CVS after work to pick up some malt balls for my next assignment for Baked Sunday Mornings, the Malted Crisp Tart.  As I was looking around the candy aisle, I happened to spot some Andes Mints, and I recalled that Andes Mints are a necessary ingredient in another Baked Explorations recipe.  So I bought a box of mints along with my carton of Whoppers, and after I got home, I found the recipe I was looking for -- "Chocolate Mint Thumbprints."

While I often make vanilla thumbprint cookies with fruit jam, I have never made any other variety.  The chocolate mint thumbprints are chocolate mint cookies filled with white chocolate-mint ganache.  The cookie dough contains three types of chocolate (dark chocolate, mint chocolate or Andes mints, and cocoa), in addition to flour, salt, butter, sugar, dark brown sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla.  You have to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before forming it into balls (I used a #50 scoop), rolling the balls in coarse sugar, and making an indentation on top.

Normally when I make thumbprint cookies, I really do use my thumb to make the wells for the filling.  However, for this cookie, the indentations you make in the raw dough almost disappear during baking, shrinking to a barely discernible dimple.  Accordingly, the recipe instructs you to pull the cookies out of the oven partway through baking and make the indentations more visible -- essentially, you have to make the indentations all over again and then put the cookies back in the oven to finish baking.  Thus, it's a good idea to use something other than your finger (the rounded end of wooden handles on kitchen tools worked for me) to make the indentations, because otherwise you're going to burn yourself if you try sticking your thumb in hot cookies that have come straight out of the oven. 

The filling for these cookies is a ganache made from heavy cream, white chocolate, and peppermint extract.  The recipe instructs you to put the filled cookies in the refrigerator until the ganache sets, about 30 minutes.  While my ganache set sufficiently to keep its shape, it remained tacky to the touch and I was unable to stack these cookies (even using layers of parchment) without getting ganache everywhere.

The chocolate cookie is lightly minty with a nice crunch from the coarse sugar coating, and the creamy ganache filling has a lovely texture.  The cookie is a bit dry, but it's still good overall when paired with the ganache.  Tom and I both preferred eating these cookies straight out of the refrigerator; it may be purely psychological, but for some reason, eating the cookie cold seemed to enhance its minty flavor.  I liked this cookie, although I have to say that I prefer getting my chocolate-mint fix either from the Girl Scouts, or from the "Chocolate Chip-Mint Cookies" in Mollie Katzen's Still Life With Menu Cookbook.

Recipe: "Chocolate Mint Thumbprints" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.


Justice Fergie said…
They came out beautifully and are delicious! Thanks for sharing :-)
Bourbonnatrix said…
they look beautiful! love how thick your ganache looks!
Candy said…
Your cookies are beautiful, but I agree with you - I prefer to get my chocolate mint fix from the Girl Scouts!
mike509 said…
These look super! So perfect - I made them last year and had a cracking problem. But they tasted wonderful. I couldn't stop eating the dough, I remember. I agree - nice ganache!
Jaime said…
Your cookies look like you could have plucked them from the photo in the book! They are perfect! Well done!
Elaine said…
Your cookies are just beautiful! We also ate them straight out of the refrigerator because I wasn't sure if they would hold up. It's good to know that you were able to layer them between parchment because I would like to make these during the holidays and give some as gifts.