Scientifically Sweet: Crispy Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Friday, December 28, 2012

Crispy Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

There's a paradox here in Australia. They do a lot of things backwards...and that's in reference to how we do things back home in North America.

They drive on the wrong side of the road, they have Summer during our Winter, they celebrate Christmas on the beach, wear outdoor shoes in the house (and on the carpet....I can actually feel you cringe right now, Mom), then sometimes they wear no shoes outside, and they like their cookies to be crunchy all the time. Oh and a cookie is actually called a biscuit.

A chewy or soft cookie is sometimes considered to be stale from their point of view, whereas we Canadians and residents of the USA generally see a crunchy cookie as stale, unless we're making biscotti of course. What is going on here!!? At first I was so confused. 

I'm trying to understand the Australian point of view, and as a food technologist, I'm trying to develop products to understand my audience. What I like isn't necessarily what they like, but then again, good food is good food. Period. A damn good chocolate chip cookie is a damn good chocolate chip cookie in any part of the world, no?

Don't freak out when I tell you this, but...chocolate chip cookies aren't big here. I know! Ridiculous. I'm slowly convincing people with my ultimate recipe that a really good soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie is one of the best things in the world. It's working. I'm converting people.

I guess it makes sense for things to be different here. I am on the other side of the world after all.

So here you go Aussies. These are crispy thumbprint cookies. They stay crisp because of the granulated sugar (instead of icing sugar) and long enough baking time to render them crunchy. Since this recipe uses no eggs, you can think of these as crunchy yet tender shortbread cookies.

Thumbprint cookies got named this way because you literally need to jab your thumb into balls of cookie dough to make a little nest for your luscious chocolate filling to sink into when they're baked. Make sure to refrigerate your thumbprinted cookie dough balls before baking to let the butter firm up so that they hold their shape better and don't spread excessively in the oven.

You'll know they're done baking when they are cracked around the edges and feel dry but still soft.

These rank pretty high on the can't-eat-just-one factor, so don't be alarmed if they disappear within a few days.

Crispy Double Chocolate Thumbprint cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1 cup (142 g ) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
½ cup (100 g) sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp espresso coffee grounds
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp golden syrup or honey

For the filling:
85 g/3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder. 

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, espresso coffee grounds and vanilla extract till light and fluffy. Use a wide rubber spatula for maximum surface area and maximum aeration. Stir in golden syrup.

Add flour mixture and stir it in until evenly combined. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and wrap well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll 1-oz portions of dough (about 1 tablespoon) into balls and place them 2.5 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Make indentations with your thumb in the middle of each cookie and refrigerate on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly press down into the center of each cookie again to re-define the indentation. Return to oven, and bake till dry but soft, about 3-4 minutes longer. Let cookies cool on the baking tray for a minute before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling, melt together the chocolate and butter either in the microwave or over a double boiler until smooth. Stir in the golden syrup. Allow to cool for a few minutes to thicken slightly. When the cookies are cool, spoon the thumbprints with the chocolate filling and let stand until set. 

Pin It


  1. As one of your Australian fans, these do look really good! I'm going to make them today.

  2. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, chocolate heaven. ;)
    Happy new year!.*


  3. I'm Australian and my chewy cookies always go down a treat, not sure where you're getting your "They like their cookies crunchy all the time" theory. Sure, ANZAC biscuits maybe, but that does not a nationwide cookie preference make.

    1. It's true, one thing doesn't always apply to a whole nation. But, I work for food companies and research shows that Australians prefer crunchy biscuits.


Subscribe via email