So, I realize that a lot of my recipes are in the style of Paula Deen, or the late, great Julia Child, full of all of the tasty, heart-attack inducing ingredients that we all love, such as butter and sugar. But alas, my good friend Kimmy has asked for a dark chocolate cookie recipe that is low in sugar, and a bit on the healthier side so this one is especially for her. This recipe is a great one, and also gives you that little dollop of jam that I love so much.
This recipe calls for apricot jam, but you can get crazy and use any old flavor you like. I, personally, am partial to raspberry, especially when paired with chocolate. Whichever flavor you choose, I recommend going for a jam made primarily of fresh fruit that keeps the artificial sugars at bay. They are usually available at farmer’s markets, or your Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s type of establishments. Although a bit more expensive, the taste will be worth it.
Low-Sugar Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup walnut oil, or canola oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips, melted
- 6 tablespoons apricot jam
- Position rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Grind walnuts in a food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
- Beat butter, oil, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until almost creamy"the mixture may still be a little grainy. Beat in egg and vanilla; scrape down the sides and beat in melted chocolate and the ground nuts. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
- Roll 1 tablespoon dough into a ball, place on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly until it looks like a deflated basketball. Continue with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon in the center of each cookie. Place 1/2 teaspoon jam in each indentation. Bake until the jam is melted and the cookie is set but still a little soft, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the pan cool for a few minutes before baking another batch. Enhancements: Use any flavor jam you want, just don’t use preserves (the pieces of fruit may be too large) or jelly (it will melt too quickly and run).
Tip: To toast chopped walnuts:
- Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Cooking Tip: To melt chocolate:
- Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a double boiler set over medium-high heat, then place chocolate in the top pan. (Alternatively, to improvise a double boiler, place chocolate in a heat-safe mixing bowl that fits snugly over a pan with 1 inch of simmering water.) Stir until half the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl and continue stirring until the chocolate has fully melted. Cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving in 30-second increments on High until two-thirds of the chocolate has melted, stirring well after each heating. Remove the bowl and continue stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Cool for 5 minutes at room temperature