Orange Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Filling

by sous-chef on January 16, 2012

It’s been a long winter break for me here at home but the end is finally in reach!

I’ve packed up my bags and said my goodbyes, ready once more to immerse myself in my studies and the life I love over at my school. As a farewell party of sorts, some friends invited the Kitchenarian and I over for afternoon tea. I’ll have to admit that I was never a tea drinker until I spent seven weeks in England this past fall, but now I’m hooked!

So what does one bring to a tea party when there will already be scones, cucumber sandwiches, and tiny biscuits?

I thought of all the delicious foods I had with my tea in England – the sticky toffee pudding, shortbread, buttery crumpets, toast, and obviously scones with jam and clotted cream – but in the end I decided to find a new recipe and bring over some sweet little cookies.

Thumbprint cookies were the first to come to mind, knowing I wanted some small bite-size cookies for tea. But there are so many recipes and combinations for thumbprint cookies! The Kitchenarian and I threw ideas back and forth until I finally landed on a heavenly combination – orange and chocolate. I knew I had to make them!

This recipe came together like a dream, which was good because I was baking them with only a few hours to spare before tea time. I was worried that they would spread too large, that the chocolate would not dry in time, but all my fears were put to rest when I saw the end result. Don’t you just love when a recipe turns out exactly how you’d imagined? For anyone who enjoys orange and dark chocolate together, you cannot turn these cookies down. They were an absolute hit at tea time, and I’m sure I will be using this recipe again for party desserts.

This recipe is adapted from one I found on the Betty Crocker website.

For the cookies:

¾ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

For the chocolate filling:

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl or mixer, beat ¾ cup butter with sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks, vanilla and orange peel until well blended. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Then, on low speed, slowly incorporate dry mixture into butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place balls on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Make large indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or end of wooden spoon.

Bake 5-10 minutes or until set, edges becoming golden brown. Let cookies cool.

Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, heat chocolate chips, milk, and butter uncovered on high 30 seconds. Continue heating and stirring until smooth and blended. Then stir in corn syrup. When cookies are cool, spoon in filling into the indentation of each cookie.

Sous Chef Notes: Original recipe called for dark chocolate chips in the filling, as well as whipping cream instead of whole milk. I used what we had in the house.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiri W. January 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Mmm, sounds fantastic! Love how dark and yummy your chocolate filling looks. Should be a subtle cookie perfect with tea 🙂


Steph@stephsbitebybite January 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I am drooling over these cookies! I love the subtleness of orange paired with chocolate! So good!!


Happy When Not Hungry January 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I love the orange and chocolate combo. These look beautiful!


Shelby C January 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Just made a batch of these and they are delicious! I am a huge fan of the orange and chocolate combo so these were a hit for me. Very easy to make too. Love them! Thanks for posting the recipe!


Sous Chef January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm

So glad you enjoyed them as much as we did! I’m glad they turned out well for you.


Kate @KatefromScratch January 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

These sound amazing! I’ve always been a softie for a good thumbprint, but these are particularly eye-fetchingly delicious, I must say..they look superb! Buzzed and saved! Yum!


Ann January 17, 2012 at 12:23 am

These look absolutely delicious! I love orange in baked goods and orange with dark chocolate is delicious together!


Joy January 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

The cookie look great. The tea party is such a cute idea.


Carolyn January 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Oh those look SO good.


Anna January 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

What a beautiful post! Gorgeous pictures, wonderful food pairings. Can I come? 🙂 Your cookies are bookmarked and buzzed!


Susie January 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

These look yummy. I love orange and chocolate together. Everything in the picture looks tasty.


Steve @ the black peppercorn January 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

This cookie looks divine. I hadn’t thought of this combination in a thumbprint cookie before. I love orange and chocolate together so this would be a ripper!


Sous Chef January 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks! I love orange and chocolate together as well, the winter holidays always brings that out of me and that’s really how I got the idea to make these in the first place.


Alix January 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

High Tea is a lot of fun. I like my afternoon ritual of having a cuppa as a pick me up before doing the dinner routine . Never thought of this combination before. I just stuck with the good old jam drop. Will try it.


Sous Chef January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm

High Tea is certainly a lot of fun! I love the jam drop too (and was tempted to make cookies like that) but I felt I had to jazz it up a bit this time for the blog 🙂


Javelin Warrior January 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

Love these! And I’ve been inspired to feature your thumbprints in my Friday Food Fetish roundup and on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and please let me know if you have any objections…


Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} January 23, 2012 at 12:22 am

I love drinking tea, actually I have a steaming cup near me right now.
I also love scones and shortbread cookies with my tea.
I’m pretty sure I would not mind at all a couple of these thumbprint cookies. Chocolate and orange are such a delicious combo.


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