From one of Martha’s Holiday magazines, for me this is a nice twist on the traditional hazelnut thumbprints that my mom always made.  The vanilla-infused ganache adds a sophisticated taste to the chewy cookie. 

This is a great addition to my holiday baking list. 

 

INGREDIENTS

 For the cookie:

2 c. flour

1 c. + 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tsp. coarse salt

1 c. butter, softened

1 1/3 c. sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 tsp. vanilla

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For the Chocolate and Vanilla-Bean Ganache:

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split & scraped, pod reserved

4 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces and softened

 

DIRECTIONS

Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and add yolks, cream, and vanilla.  Scrape sides of bowl, then beat in flour mixture until just combined. 

Roll balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each and roll in sugar.  Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Use the handle of a wooden spoon to create indents in the center each cookie. 

Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies are just set.  If the indentations lose definition, press centers again.  Let cool slightly on baking shhets, then transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool. 

Spoon warm ganache into each cookie.  Let stand until firm (about 15 mins).  Cookies only keep, covered, for up to 3 days so you might want to freeze them. 

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Chocolate and Vanilla-Bean Ganache

Combine honey, cream, vanilla seeds, and pod in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until honey dissolves.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes. 

Place chocolate in a food processor.  Return cream mixture to a simmer, then strain through a fine sieve.  Discard solids.  Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute.  Process until smooth.  Add butter and continue to process, scraping down sides occasionally, until butter is incorporated. 

Let cool slightly and then use immediately.

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