You know what you shouldn’t do when baking something, especially for the first time? Read the line in the recipe that says to place the cookie dough on “buttered or cooking parchment- lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets” and think, “Well, I hate to butter a pan, I’ll use baking spray instead.”
This is really dumb for two reasons. One, cooking spray ≠ butter ≠ parchment paper. Two, if there’s a half pound of butter in your cookie dough, you probably don’t need even to butter the baking sheet at all. But hey, let’s say you haven’t eaten much that day and you just have an absolutely Stupid Moment and think it’s a good idea to apply baking spray to a cookie sheet before laying your nicely molded cookies on it. Let’s say this moment continues for about 20 minutes and culminates in you scratching your head as you see that your cookies have spread out to the point that they’re practically deformed and in no way resemble the cute little round “thumbprints” you intended. Then, minutes later (how many minutes, I won’t say), the light bulb in your head suddenly goes off in an epiphany of knowledge, fireworks boom, morning dawns and the nine choirs of angels belt out in heavenly voice: why the hell did I do that? I know better. What was I thinking? Duh.
And then you make a second batch of cookies. A week later. Because you were too tired/annoyed at yourself to make another batch of them that night.
I’m not saying that happened or anything. But it could. Cough. To anyone, ok?
Anyway, these cookies were good. You definitely want the dough cold though, because it’s a bit crumbly, so if you’re doing one sheet at a time, keep the rest in the fridge. I contemplated using my own regular recipe for the cookie dough but after ruminating (ha! good word) on it for a bit, I decided that the crispy yet moist texture of this cookie works out well. Good family fun, two thumbprints up.
1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar—can also substitute regular white sugar)
Chocolate ganache (recipe follows)
1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until well blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until dough is firm but pliable, about 30 minutes.
3. Place about 1/3 cup turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in turbinado sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on buttered or cooking parchment- lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie to make a 1/2-inch-deep indentation.4. Bake cookies in a 325° oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely (if indentations have disappeared, make them again while cookies are warm).5. Carefully fill each indentation with about 1 teaspoon chocolate ganache. Let stand until ganache is shiny and firm to the touch, about 1 hour (or chill for about 30 minutes).
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water), occasionally stir 6 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons whipping cream, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until thick but not firm, about 15 minutes. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.