Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprints

I hadn't even put up our Halloween stuff before Christmas decorations were filling store shelves. I've promised myself to keep my Christmas baking to a minimum this year (three items max.) and these little gems are the perfect staple. They also work well if your Halloween candy stash has run out and you're in need of chocolate peanut butter fix. Chocolate peanut butter cookies filled with chocolate peanut butter ganache and top with salted peanuts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprints
adapted from


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache filling:
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon natural-style creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside. 
Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the beater and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the reserved flour mixture, and mix just until the dough comes together.
Scoop level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Roll each portion between your hands to form a smooth ball and place them back on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 8 minutes. 
Remove the sheets to wire racks and immediately use the back of a round teaspoon or the end of a large-handled wooden spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets, about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.

For the ganache filling:
Place the chocolate and peanut butter in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and peanut butter and let stand until the chocolate softens, about 5 minutes. Stir until evenly combined and smooth.
Fill the indentation of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of the ganache filling, sprinkle with the peanuts, and let sit until set, about 1 hour.

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