baking under the gun: chocolate thumbprint cookies

This past weekend was pretty wonderful. On Saturday, Cornelius and I headed out early to run some errands and then walked downtown to the Vancouver Art Gallery where we saw some amazing videos by Mark Lewis and great photographs by Roy Arden and others. It wasn’t until we were walking home in the darkness that I realized that I was having a couple friends over that night. Oops!! I decided to make cookies so I needed something that could go from concept to production in half an hour! So I flipped through Vegan with a Vengeance and found a recipe for chocolate thumbprint cookies. I’ve never made or have ever eaten a thumbprint cookie before, but the recipe looked simple enough and I got right to it. I didn’t have the soy milk the recipe called for, but I did have some almond milk, so I used that instead. If you don’t want to go the vegan route, go ahead and add dairy.

Despite having to sift the flour and cocoa (I never sift!) and pull out the cookies in mid-bake and add the jam, I was able to reach my 30 minute deadline! By the time my friends arrived at 8 pm, the apartment was filled with the heady scent of chocolate and we didn’t waste much time digging in. These cookies are delicious! They are super fudgy and have the perfect crisp-chewy texture that I love. Plus, they look extra special with that dollop of jam in the centre. I used blackberry jam since it was what I had on hand, but the cookbook suggests apricot or raspberry.

23 comments to “baking under the gun: chocolate thumbprint cookies”

  1. 1
    Chrys   November 26, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Wow. These cookies look good. WNYC, New York public radio, is looking for Christmas cookie recipes. If you’ve got one you’d like to share, please post it here on


  2. 2
    Joanne   November 26, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    I’m at work…shhhhhh 😉

    Those cookies look delicious and yes! quite fancy too with the jam in the centre. And they are milk-free to boot – hurray!

    Made in 1/2 an hour?! Rachel Ray would be proud – (insert moan) – I can’t stand her.

    Gotta run!

  3. 3
    sweetsalty kate   November 26, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Okay, I just made these and with a huge mistake – added twice the amount of milk. That’s what happens when you’ve got a two-year-old pulling your pants down while you measure.

    So I got out the cupcake papers, and lo! YUM.

  4. 4
    Lauren   November 26, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Those look delicious! I know of a recipe that is similar…but the center is a chocolate fudge that is made with (*gasp*) prunes. But man oh man are they tasty!

  5. 5
    Patricia Scarpin   November 27, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Kickpleat, I’m gonna tag this recipe RIGHT NOW to bake with my sister for Christmas!
    She’s gonna love these!

  6. 6
    Katie   November 27, 2007 at 11:03 am

    They look delicious. I bet cherry jam would go wonderfully with them

  7. 7
    Rachael M.   November 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Ooooo…I see the next cookie I’ll be baking!

  8. 8
    Cookie baker Lynn   November 27, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I love thumbprint cookies! Yours look lovely. The jam is so dark I thought you’d put a fudge center in there.

  9. 9
    VeggieGirl   November 27, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    sounds like you certainly DID have a wonderful weekend!! these cookies sound fabulous – especially with the blackberry jam that you used! yum! I’ll have to make a version of these cookies with carob, of course ;0)

  10. 10
    kickpleat   November 27, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks chrys, i just might submit. thanks!

    lauren, they are yummy…but with prunes? i think i’m adult enough to get behind a prune filling 😉

    joanne, yes these are quick and delicious and not at all rachel ray inspired! haha.

    kate, cupcakes? you are awesome!! i love it when an error turns into something lovely.

    patricia, these would be great for the holidays! enjoy.

    cherry jam would be great, i think, katie! yum.

    rachael, let me know if you do make these! i think they’re lovely.

    cookie baker lynn, oooh, a fudgy centre would be a nice touch!

    veggiegirl, these are yummy…and i’m sure they’d be swell with carob too.

  11. 11
    Cakespy   November 27, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Oh, those look very nice. I am so used to seeing shortbread (Vanilla) thumbprints…what a nice difference it is to see chocolate thumbprints!

    Thank you for your sweet comment about my illustrations by the way! I adore this blog. 🙂

  12. 12
    Veggies...   November 27, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    These look and sound great. Glad I stopped by. LOVE your header too.

  13. 13
    aria   November 29, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    sluuuuurp, love the graphic

  14. 14
    Allison   December 11, 2007 at 9:03 am

    So I made these this weekend and they turned out really tasty but not nearly as pretty as yours (the center sort of ran out all over the pan, creating a gooey mess…maybe I didn’t make enough of an “imprint” in the center?). Very tasty though, thanks!

  15. 15
    Lauren   August 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    i made these a while ago and am making them again tonight. SUPER delicious, and the fastest cookies i have ever made (only 15 or 20 minutes, max!).

    the only thing is that when i took out the cookies at 5 minutes, the dough was still too wet/sticky. i think taking them out at 8 minutes to make the thumbprints was much more successful. i put blackberry jam in mine and sifted some powdered sugar on top for looks. they tasted great, super chewy and moist. thank you!

  16. 16
    kickpleat   August 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Lauren, I do have an older stove/oven and I think it's a bit hotter than most ovens, so yes, please use your own judgment when baking. Glad you enjoyed them!

  17. 17
    A L   May 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve cooked using one or two of your recipes before, and they turned out well. However, for this one, the dough seemed really wet, so I didn’t bother making cookies; made cupcakes instead. Is the dough supposed to be wet after mixing?

  18. 18
    kickpleat   May 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    A L, the dough for this is a bit slick because of the amount of oil but I wouldn’t call it wet at all. I’ve made this recipe a few times and have never had a problem with forming the balls from the raw dough. Maybe you accidentally added too much wet?

  19. 19
    xine   January 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Hey J. so I am making these for a vegan party tonight, and I had to double the flour, then I think I made them way too big (obviously am used to deli cookies!) and I think I screwed up the whole thing. Sigh.

  20. 20
    xine   January 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I may have figured out a bit of the problem: I am using cake/pastry flour instead of all purpose, which means I have to add 2 T more. However the dough wasn’t dough until I added way more… I think I may try to use coconut oil next time so it isn’t as wet, but I don’t ruin the cookies with too much flour.

    Unless I am out to lunch and what I think is “wet” really isn’t? I can’t tell. I don’t have much cookie luck.

  21. 21
    Stephanie @noreservations4lunchdinner   July 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    These cookies look awesome…..

  22. 22
    zsuzsi   August 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I had the same experience with the dough being too wet to shape into balls. I used spelt flour instead of all purpose. I let it sit a bit before deciding what to do and it thickened up a bit but still too wet to shape. I had cut the sugar in half so I added 1/3 cup all purpose flour to compensate for the lost volume. That seemed to make the dough stiffer. I then scooped the dough with an ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet and flattened it with the back of the scoop. That seemed to work. I used a cranberry-orange marmalade for the indentation.
    They were yummy!

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