I do this one stupid thing.
I mean, it’s really stupid.
I keep watching this dumb movie… this Dear John movie… secretly hoping that the ending is going to change every single time. It’s on TV like three times a week (just to spite me) and seriously… someone should have been smart enough to change the awful ending by now. Each and every time the credits start to roll I want to throw the remote straight at the screen and belt “but whyyyyyyy?!?”
Yeah. Maybe you’ve heard me mention this before? Pretty sure I complained about it on Twitter, uh… like 14 months ago? And maybe even again on Facebook about 7 months ago. Are you thinking someone needs to GET A LIFE?!
Yet I can’t stop. Every time I spy it on Starz or Skinemax I turn it on and torture myself.
Like yesterday morning. I sipped tea, which I loathe. I slurped cereal, which I love. I sunk deeper and deeper and deeper into my dreamy fort of blankets on the couch. I stared longingly into Channing Tatum’s eyes.
Then BAM! Same ending.
But then I got off my arse and made these s’mores cookies and righted my life again, because no movie’s gonna hold me down. Is that a word? Righted? It is now.
The minute December hits, I immerse myself in Mother Lovett’s recipes and refuse to come up for air. What can I say? I have a thing for the scent of musty moth balls and stained, yellowed paper. It has so much more… character than that deficient Dear John.
Thumbprints were her thing. She was like, alllllll about the thumbprints. Not gonna lie – they have never been my fave. I’m more of an oooey and gooey and chewy chocolate chip cookie kind of gal, and not so much of a tender crumb cookie that someone pokes their (most likely) dirty fingers in mid-bake and fills with fruit, which we all know is NOT dessert. You hear??
But these days? I eat them because they taste like her. In a non-creeptastic way. While baking they smell like her. In a non-old person way. And the mere act of seeing them on a holiday cookie tray reminds me of her. Errr, well… reminds me of how she used to store thumbprints in her freezer inside reused aluminum foil packets, bringing them out two years later and placing them on the tiny ceramic leaf tray that sat on her coffee table. They resembled the lovely consistency of stone.
The fact is, I still can’t believe that it’s been nearly four years since I stood in her kitchen and listened to her rip me a new one because I “didn’t do the thumbprint right!”
Apparently there was only one way to do it.
So I still make them and probably do that part wrong. Every year.
And even though I’ll enjoy a bite or two of that traditional thumbprint recipe, let’s be honest: you just KNOW I’ve been dying to trash these up. I’ve gone back and forth for weeks deciding between peanut butter chocolate thumbprints or white chocolate thumbprints or cheesecake thumbprints or tiramisu thumbprints or anything-but-fruit thumbprints.
But I’m pretty sure I hit the thumbprint jackpot here. And I may never say the word thumbprint again.
And no.. I will never stuff my thumbprints (darnit) with fruity stuff. Because, uh, who in the world emotionally eats fruit every time John and Savannah STILL don’t end up together? Not I.
Yield: makes about 20 cookies
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 mini chocolate chips
1/2 batch of marshmallow frosting
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, or more if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy (scraping the bowl when needed), for about 3-4 minutes. Add in egg yolk and vanilla, and beat for another 1-2 minutes until combined. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture and gradually increase the speed for the dough to come together, again scraping down the sides to combine. One batter has come together, fold in chocolate chips.
Roll into balls that are about 1 inch in diameter and set on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating a dent. Place the cookies back in the oven and bake for 5-6 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
One cool, use a spoon or butter knife and add 1-2 teaspoons of frosting into the cookies. Top with a hefty sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs. Store in an air-tight container. My grandma used to freeze her thumbprints, so I’m pretty sure these can be frozen if placed in a single layer and wrapped tightly.
Notes: I used a bit of extra milk (2-3 tablespoons) to thin out my usual marshmallow frosting. If you are making these ahead of time and plan to freeze, I don’t suggest that as the frosting is a bit runnier. If you are making them a day or two in advance, thinning the frosting should be fine.
[adapted from mother lovett's thumbprints]
Take that Dear John!