Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cocoa Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Every year at Johnson Space Center, the Mission Operations Directorate puts on the Dessert Extravaganza. A friendly competition between anyone who feels like competing, judged by those who like eating. This year will be second time participating as a competitor, and this recipe is my entry.

I call them..

Cocoa Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

..or more accurately, Ms. Sarah W. Caron of Sarah's Cucina Bella calls them that. I found her recipe via google, thought it sounded like a fantastic entry, and then tweaked it just a bit to make it my own. Link to Source Recipe  

With regards to making something "my own," one of my worst habits as a chef is that I am very bad at just following recipes. It doesn't matter how I came by the recipe, I almost always add something or change something. Sometimes, that turns out well, sometimes not so much. In this case, the change is very benign, and would be hard pressed to be not delicious...but you will have to keep reading so see what I did. Look for the red text below...that is what I changed.

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup (for rolling)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup ground up peppermint candies 
20 unwrapped Hershey Kisses, Candy Cane variety (For the Dessert Extravaganza, I will use the right kind of Kisses...but the photos below feature Mint Truffle Kisses, because our local grocery is sold out. *sadface*)
(..and yes, the Mint Truffles are open. Don't judge me, I don't believe for a second you wouldn't open yours)(Darth Spatula is watching you.)

1) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in the butter and eggs and stir to moisten and combine. 
Top: dry bits; Middle: wet bits; Bottom: ALL THE BITS!!!!

2) Once you have reached "ALL THE BITS!!!!" status (read: all mixed up,) wash your hands,  and then knead the cookie dough together until it forms one smooth ball. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Observe Siri in action! Thanks for timing that for me! (No, the iPhone did not stay in the fridge.)

3) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup ground up peppermint candies in a bowl and the confectioners’ sugar in a second bowl.
Ground up candy goodness..

4) Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 tbsp size,) if you own one (I don't,) to scoop out balls of dough. Roll each first in the granulated sugar / ground up peppermint mixture and then in the confectioners’ sugar. Arrange on the baking sheet leaving 1-inch between each ball. Once all the balls are rolled out, press down in the center with your thumb to flatten and leave about a 1/2-inch indent. (I was able to get about 16 on a baking sheet...but my cookies, being hand rolled, were not especially uniform.)
Roll, roll, place, and squish

5) Bake for 10-12 minutes, (rotating 180 degrees about halfway through,) until the cookies are puffed and cracked. Remove from the oven and immediately press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Note: I neglected the 5 minutes, and they were ok, but they might have been more solid if I had followed directions. :P)
Mmmm... Cooooookies...
6) Enjoy!  (Note: Remember not to inhale while cookie is in proximity to your face...it was rolled in confectioner's sugar!)

- Jen

This is my first post...just thought I would share that. :)


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, and I am super flattered that you make your own version of my recipe as your first post! They look delicious.