Vegan Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies

This is one of those recipes that was very easily veganized simply by substituting vegan butter and chocolate for their dairy equivalents. I thought they looked a little plain–though chocolate-on-chocolate is hard to beat–so I dressed them up a bit with pretty crushed peppermint.

Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup unsalted vegan butter, room temperature (I like Earth Balance)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Peppermint Filling:
3/4 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
3 tablespoons vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Crushed peppermint candy (place the candy in a resealable plastic bag, place on a hard surface and crush with a mallet or hammer; you may also use a food processor, though even the so-called soft peppermint sticks sound like bee-bees and can scratch the plastic bowl of most food processors)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.Add the vanilla and salt and continue beating about 1 minute more. Add the flour and cocoa and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about another minute. Chill dough for 40-60 minutes. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Using a small scoop, scoop up balls of dough and arrange 2 inches apart in rows on baking sheets. Using hands, form each scoop into a smooth ball. With a lightly floured thumb, index finger, or the cylindrical end of a thick-handled spoon or scoop, press straight down in the middle of each ball almost to the cookie sheet to make a deep well. Bake one sheet at a time for approximately 8-9 minutes or until the tops of the cookies look dry. Gently redefine the indentations with the end of a wooden spoon if desired. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for approximately 5 minutes and then cool them completely on racks.

Make filling:
Place the vegan chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of almost simmering water. Stir with a heatproof spatula until almost melted, 2-4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until melted an smooth, about 30 seconds more. Stir in the mint extract. Let the filling cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and a bit warmer than room temperature. Using a tiny spoon, fill the well of each cookie with the filling. Garnish with crushed peppermint candy. Cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container at room temperature. These cookies freeze very nicely.

Source: Very slightly adapted from Fine Cooking magazine. My only adaptions were to use vegan ingredients and to garnish with the peppermint, which looks so pretty.

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  1. Jessica at Vegbooks

    Delicious! I made a batch during the last day of the DC snowstorm and brought them in to work for my coworkers the next day. They were a huge hit!

  2. I'm so glad–thanks for sharing your feedback! You have some lucky co-workers… and a lucky "boss" in that all of you came to work in that snow–ha! The cookies look sort of "frosty" to me with the crushed peppermint, so they are the perfect complement to a side of snow. Stay warm and dry!

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