I have had my eye on these cookies for some time, but for one reason or another I kept passing over them as I worked my way down my "to bake" list. I decided this week was a great time to try them; the incorporation of Hershey kisses made these a perfect cookie for pre-Valentine's baking. So let me tell you, these thumbprints really exceeded my expectations. They are delectable! The chocolate cookie was not overly rich, which paired nicely with the sweet yummy filling, and the walnuts added great texture. I thought about tinting the filling either red or pink, but I wasn't gifting these so I didn't bother with that extra step... could be a nice touch though if you're making these for someone special.
Yields about 18-20 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 egg, separated
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
10 Hershey Kisses and 10 Hershey Hugs
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; dip in egg white, then roll in walnuts. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes or until center is set.
For filling, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk and vanilla in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon into each warm cookie; gently press a kiss or a hug in the center. Carefully remove from pans to wire rack to cool.
Source: adapted from The Taste of Home Baking Book