One of the most joyous things about being a teacher is watching the growth of your students over the course of the year. I just felt like it was time to share my own personal growth with my photography. A year ago I was preparing Christmas treats just like I am this year, but this was me last year. I have learned so much in the course of a year, and know that I have even more growth ahead of me which is so cool! I pride myself on being patient, taking the time to learn my camera, and reading as many tips/tutorials as possible.
One of my absolute favorite things about the holiday season without a doubt is all the baking that goes down. I love to try out new recipes and love to bring back traditional ones out of the vaults for this special time of year. I saw a recipe for these thumbprints, and thought I should give them a whirl. Chocolate and mint is the perfect combination for this time of year. These were incredibly easy to make and even more delicious to eat. The cookie base is a rich, moist chocolately cookie with a chocolate filling with a hint of peppermint. I can’t stop eating them.
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips ( 3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line cookie trays with parchment paper, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together 1 cup butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla, beat to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add in flour mixture until fully incorporated.
In a small bowl, measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll into sugar to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove sheets from the oven. With the back of a melon baller or the bottom of a measuring spoon (I used the back of a teaspoon), make an indentation into the center of each cookie. Return cookies to the oven and bake until cookies are just set, about 4 minutes. They will still look moist, do not overbake. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup of butter in 10-second increments. When it is completely melted, stir in peppermint extract. Let cool until thick enough to pipe, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a ziplock bag or pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Pipe chocolate into cookie indentations, let harden. Store in airtight containers up to 1 week.
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