During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, festive slice-and-bakes from Sarah Bolla of Lemon Fire Brigade.
In this refined version of a classic old-fashioned chocolate thumbprint, cool and creamy white chocolate ganache tops these bold cocoa slice-and-bake style cookies. They’re chewy, intensely chocolatey, and a dusting of flaked candy cane gives them a festive finish.
Chewy Chocolate Slice-and-Bakes with White Chocolate-Peppermint Ganache
Active Time: 45 min
Total Time: 55 min + 1 hr chilling dough
Makes 36 - 2 ½-inch cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup Valrhona cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated cane sugar + ½ cup for dusting
2 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 egg yolks
3 ounces candy canes, crushed for garnish
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
FOR THE COOKIES
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small and set aside. Using an electric mixer on a medium-high speed, beat the butter, sugar, and molasses in a large bowl until fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides. Add the egg yolks and beat to just incorporate. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat until the flour is evenly mixed, while scraping down the sides. The dough should come together easily with your hands. Divide the dough in half and roll into two 7-by-2-inch logs. Wrap each one in plastic, and gently square off the edges against a flat work surface to form 4 evenly long sides. Chill the dough until firm, about 1 hour.
Arrange the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Add ½ cup of granulated sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Unwrap 1 dough log, and using a sharp knife, slice into ¼-inch thick squares, lightly re-forming into 2-by-2-inch cookies once sliced. Lay the cookies into the sugar while giving the bowl a swirl. Dust them evenly with the sugar to cover all sides. Slice and dust the remaining and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers are still very soft. Let cool for 2 minutes, then gently press a shallow circle into the center of each cookie with your thumb. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat the baking steps with the second log, making sure baking sheets have cooled.
FOR THE GANACHE
Chop the white chocolate into very fine pieces and place into a small heatproof bowl over a saucepot with warm water on low-heat, ensuring water is not touching the bowl. Stir the chocolate constantly until almost melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the heavy cream in a small microwave proof bowl until it begins to simmer, about 25 seconds. Pour the cream over the warm chocolate, let stand for 2 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar to the mixture and stir until smooth, pressing out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Add the peppermint extract and whisk until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Makes about 1 ¼ cups.
*Note: If the ganache is too thick, loosen with a ½ tablespoon or more of heavy cream and whisk to combine.
Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of the ganache into the centers of each cookie. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane flakes and serve. Store in an airtight container overnight.
Make Ahead: The dough can be made 2 days in advance, keep chilled.
Recipe from Sarah Bolla