Chocolate and peanut butter is an undeniably good combination. A force to be reckoned with in the realm of flavor combinations. Sure, everyone has their own favorite way to pair the two, their own killer recipe. But here's just one more to add to your chocolate-peanut butter repertoire (and it just may be your last).
Thumbprint cookies are essentially shortbread cookies with a tiny dimple in the center. They're adorable vehicles for a dollop of jam or a tiny Hershey's kiss. These addictive nuggets are like the Reese's peanut butter cups of thumbprint cookies—nutty, chocolatey, and totally irresistible.
Instead of the traditional kiss in the center, these peanut butter thumbprints have a rich, dark slick of chocolate ganache. A quick roll in crushed peanuts makes them just that extra bit more nutty and satisfying, though you can skip this step for a simpler cookie. Fill the cookies after baking for a smoother, uncooked ganache.
Notes:You can use chunky peanut butter in place of the creamy peanut butter. For extra peanut crunch, roll the balls of dough in finely chopped peanuts before pressing with finger and baking.
- Yield:makes 4 dozen 1 1/2-inch cookies
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (see note)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until combined and creamy. Mix in peanut butter until combined, then egg and vanilla.
In small bowl, stir flour with baking powder and baking soda. Add to peanut butter mixture on low speed until just combined.
Form 48 balls of dough, each about 2 teaspoons volume. Space evenly on cookie sheets, 2 inches apart (about 24 per pan). Press finger deeply into center of each dough ball. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool completely.
Using microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate with cream, stirring gently until smooth. Let cool until the mixture is the consistency of soft pudding. Using two small spoons, spoon the chocolate mixture into each cookie. Let cookies sit until ganache is set. Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. To stack, place a layer of parchment paper between each layer of cookies.