Salty Chocolate Thumbprints

From my February 2012 Newsletter

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)

Preheat the oven at 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl.

Combine the butter, ½ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons of the sugar. Beat with a mixer for about two minutes on low speed. Then add the egg yolk, cream and vanilla and beat on low until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

Place the remaining ½ cup of sugar in a shallow bowl.

Scoop 15-18 heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet. Shape each mound into a ball, then roll each in the remaining sugar to coat. Space the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an indentation on top of each ball, flattening the cookie as you go.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just set. The tops of the cookies will remain soft. If the indentations have lost their definition, press the centers again immediately after you remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut spread into the center of each cookie while they’re still slightly warm.

Let the centers set and the cookies cool completely before serving or storing. Even though I love warm cookies, these tasted much better once they’d cooled. They’ll last one week in an airtight container or one month in the freezer. But I’m betting they’ll be all gone before either of those deadlines .

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