Cocoa Thumbprint Cookies

I got the recipe for these Cocoa Thumbprint Cookies last year (2011) in the December issue of Food Network magazine.  It was a revelation!  Don’t get me wrong, thumbprint cookies are great, but cocoa thumbprints?  Chocolate is where it’s at for me.

I made the recipe exactly as it was, but I added 1/2 teaspoon of instant espresso powder.  This is completely optional, but the espresso powder really amps up the chocolate flavor.  Lord knows I love my coffee, too.  I contemplated whether or not to roll the cookies in the granulated and the powdered sugar before baking as the recipe calls for.  I’m all for taking the extra steps when they make a difference.  If they don’t, why bother?  I’m here to tell you that rolling these cookies in both sugars before they bake is totally necessary.  The sugars actually make the outside of the cookies crispy and the inside is soft, chocolatey goodness.  That’s the way I like a cookie.

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Let’s talk thumbprint fillings now.  Think Hershey’s kisses, sprinkles, M&M’s, leftover Halloween candy….the possibilities are endless.  I used pretzel M&M’s, which is one of my all time faves.  Since I’m a sucker for the seasonal candies that I see, I also picked up a bag of white chocolate candy corn M&M’s and used those as well.  They just looked too festive to pass up.  As for Christmas, last year I used Christmas colored pretzel M&M’s and a combination of Hershey’s kisses — candy cane and mint truffle.  Mint M&M’s are incredible with this cookie as well.  Anything you have will do.  If you’re invited to a Christmas cookie swap, this is the cookie for you.  You can crank out dozens in no time.

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