Chocolate- Mint Thumbprints

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Chocolate Mint Thumbprints

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Chocolate- Mint Thumbprints

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 45 min + chill time

Cook Time: 8 min

Ingredients:

COOKIES:
1 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (5 1/4-ounces)
1/4 cup Dutch- processed cocoa (3/4-ounce)
3/4cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (6-ounces)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (2-ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING:
3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Directions:

1. Make Cookies: Sift flour and cocoa together into a medium bowl. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt; continue beating until blended and smooth, about 1 minute more. Add the flour-cocoa mixture and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll into balls, 40 to 60 minutes (or longer).

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.

3. Using your palms, roll heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange them 2 inches apart on the lined sheets. With a lightly floured thumb or index finger-tip, press straight down into the middle of each ball almost to the cookie sheet to make a deep well. (Or use the end of a thick-handled wooden spoon.)

4. Bake one sheet at a time until the tops of the cookies look dry, 8 to 9 minutes. Gently redefine the indentations with the end of a wooden spoon. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then let them cool completely on racks.

5. Make the filling: Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Microwave for 30 second bursts (stirring after each heating) until melted and smooth. Stir in mint extract. Let the filling cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and a bit warmer than room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes. Spoon the filling into a small pastry bag with a small plain tip. (Or use a small plastic bag and cut a tiny bit off a bottom corner of the bag.) Pipe the filling into the center of each cookie. Cool completely before serving or storing.

Tips:

*You can also use Andes bits or Nestle Chocolate Mint Swirl chips (in place of chocolate).
*The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days, or freeze for several weeks.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Fine Cooking)

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