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Kid corner: Thumbprint cookies give kids a hands-on holiday baking experience

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 pound (375 g), 3 sticks, unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

1 1/3 cups (335 mL) confectioners' sugar, sifted

2 large egg yolks

Raspberry jam, at room temperature

Line 1 or 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

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In a medium saucepan, bring about 2 inches (5 cm) of water to a boil. Put the chocolate in a bowl large enough to rest inside the rim of the pan without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. (Carefully pour off a little water, if necessary.) Place the bowl over the water and, when the chocolate is almost completely melted, turn off the heat and leave it to melt completely, stirring occasionally.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle or beaters, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the butter and confectioners' sugar: Start on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, and then turn the speed to high and continue beating until the mixture is very fluffy and white, about 5 minutes, stopping the beaters or paddle as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl and under the beaters with a rubber spatula.

On medium speed, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating just until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. On low speed, slowly pour in the sifted dry ingredients, again beating just until fully incorporated to form a soft, smooth dough. Do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, or set the handheld beater aside. With clean hands, form small balls of dough about 1/2 ounce (15 g) each. Gently press your clean thumb into each ball, making a deep indentation in the center; then, place the balls on the prepared baking tray, placing them about 2 inches apart. Cover loosely and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or as long as overnight, to help set the indentations in the dough.

Before baking, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, turning them back to front halfway through. Gently slide the cookies on the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.

Once the cookies have cooled, use a small teaspoon or a piping bag with a wide tip to fill each indentation with a little raspberry jam.



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