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Peanut butter and a rich, decadent chocolate ganache combine to create these seriously tasty Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprints.
I’m squeezing in one more recipe before Christmas which is somehow happening in just two days. Can you believe it? Yes, I own a calendar, but somehow it always sneaks up on me. Ready or not, here it comes!
As soon as I hit publish on this post, I’m heading to the kitchen to start my Christmas Eve dinner prep including lots of tasty baked goodies for dessert. At the bottom of this post, I’ve included links to some of the other items I’ll be baking today in case you’re looking for more baking inspiration.
There is NO way in this universe I could have gotten away with doing my Christmas baking this late in the season when the boys were younger. Oh, no, that would NOT fly. But, now that they are older, I get to do whatever I want. So there! With my brand new “doing whatever I want” attitude, I decided to hold off so we could enjoy them on Christmas Eve when we’re all together. I’m keeping the desserts simple with the star of the show being Mom’s Old Fashioned Gingerbread and pretty trays of Christmas cookies. That will be just perfect after the big meal.
In the spirit of Christmas and cookie baking, I’m sharing a delicious thumbprint cookie today that includes one of the best flavor combos on the planet – chocolate and peanut butter. But not just any chocolate, these cookies have a rich, decadent chocolate ganache filling that will make it nearly impossible to eat just one.
As an added bonus, I’m betting you have most, if not all of the ingredients on hand in your kitchen right now. If you’re looking for a last minute goodie to put together, these cookies may be just the ticket!
First, things first. Cream together 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and continue to mix until well incoporated.
The dry ingredients consist of just flour and a bit of salt. Add them to the butter mixture all at once.
Use the mixer to combine the ingredients until just slightly combined and then grab a wooden spoon to complete the mixing process.
Perfect! At this point, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, just to give it a bit of a chill. If you refrigerate the dough overnight, you’ll need to allow it to sit on the kitchen counter for an hour or so before shaping the dough. A slight chill is all we’re after.
Let’s make ganache! It sounds fancy but it’s actually one of the simplest things that happens in a kitchen. And, it does a whole heck of a lot to make cookies completely irresistable.
Add 1/3 cup heavy cream to a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Not all ganache recipes call for corn syrup but I’m adding it here because it will add a nice, glossy finish to the cookies. Add 2 teaspoons to the heavy cream and place the pan over medium heat.
When the cream begins to simmer, and just before it begins to boil, it’s time to add the chocolate. See those bubbles forming around the edge? When you see this, remove the pan from the heat.
Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the hot cream. I’m using bittersweet chocolate but semi-sweet is fabulous as well.
Now, just let it sit. Don’t stir or disturb it at all for 5 minutes. It looks like a high cream to chocolate ratio but you’ll see in a minute that is is perfecto!
Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture and the chocolate will easily melt into the cream creating a glossy, silky, smooth chocolate ganache. Divine!
Allow the ganache to cool while you bake your thumbprints.
Roll the slightly chilled dough into little golf balls and place them a couple of inches apart on a parchment paper lined or ungreased cookie sheet.
Press into the center of each ball of dough to create a well for your ganache. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Once the cookies have completely cooled, fill each one with about a teaspoon of ganache. I like to transfer the ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle to make it clean and easy. You can also make a pastry bag out of a plastic storage bag by snipping off one of the bottom corners or even just use a small spoon.
I hope you have a fantastic holiday, time with family and friends, and lots and lots of delicious food. Now excuse me, I have some work to do!
Here’s a quick look at the other items I’ll be whipping up in the kitchen today.
Eggnog Thumbprints – because one type of thumbprint is never enough, I’ll double the batch and fill some with jelly.
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate ganache filling:
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to cream together butter, peanut butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Beat into the creamed mixture just till slightly combined. Finish by mixing with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll slightly chilled dough into 1 inch balls, and place balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined or ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the center of each cookie using your thumb or index finger.
- Bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
- To make the chocolate ganache, pour heavy cream and corn syrup into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat just before cream begins to boil and add chocolate chips but do not stir. Let stand, off the heat, for 5 minutes and then stir until completely smooth. Allow ganache to cool for 15 minutes. Fill each thumbprint with about 1 teaspoon of ganache.
- To easily fill thumbprints, pour ganache into a plastic storage bag and snip the corner for easy dispensing. You can also use a plastic squeeze bottle to dispense or just use a small spoon.