Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 5 Dozen
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped pecans
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
For the cookies: Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water or in a microwave-safe medium bowl on medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until tepid but still fluid.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, followed by the melted chocolate and the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until combined. (You can cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours. Return to room temperature before continuing).
Using a heaping teaspoonful (or more) for each cookie, roll the dough into marble-sized balls and place them on a platter. (Your yield will vary depending on the size of the cookies).
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until foamy. Place the pecans on a plate. One at a time, dip each dough ball in the whites, allowing any excess to drip off. Then roll the dough in the pecans and space the dough balls 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon, press an indentation into the center of each cookie.
Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies look set, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, and, using the end of the wooden spoon, reform the center indentation in each cookie. Return to the oven and continue baking until the edges of the cookies are crisp, 5 to 10 minutes more, depending on their size. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
For the filling: Melt the chocolate and oil in a small bowl set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water or in a microwave-safe medium bowl on medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir until melted and smooth. Using a teaspoon, fill the indentations on each cookie with some of the chocolate mixture. Let stand until the chocolate sets (or, if you’re the impatient sort, you can refrigerate them to speed things up).
Via Leite's Culinaria