Saturday, November 14, 2015

Milk Chocolate Thumbprints from Fat Witch Baker + Review

There is not much that I enjoy more than wandering the cookbook section at my library and picking up whatever book looks tempting.  A few weeks ago the book that landed in my bag was a thin volume entitled - Fat Witch Bake Sale: 67 Recipes From the Beloved Fat Witch Bakery For Your Next Bake Sale by Patricia Helding with Lucy Baker.  For starters - isn't that a fantastic name for a Bakery?  It sounds like the name of a bakery in a slightly paranormal cozy where the amateur detective sells baked goods designed to fix whatever ails the customer.  The cover is pretty tempting too with yummy bar cookies, brownies, cake and tarts stacked up.

The book itself is broken up into useful chapters - especially if you're cooking for a crowd (or a Bake Sale) - there's a chapter focusing on Chocolate, Kid Friendly, Gluten Free, Halfway Healthy, Vegan and several others.  The offered treats range from chocolate layer cakes and brownies to the slightly more exotic Chinese Lucky Almond Cookies, Danish Blondes as well as Gluten Free and Vegan options.  There are also tips for hosting a successful bake sale and packing up your treats.

The recipe I decided to try is a little bit on the more basic side but doesn't lose any of it's chocolate decadence.

Milk Chocolate Thumbprints

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small, even size pieces
1 tablespoon unsifted cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
big pinch of salt
36 to 48 large milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease 2 large baking sheets with butter or cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.

In a small heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, warm the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, until almost completely melted.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa.  Set aside to cool for 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg and vanilla until creamy.  Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.  Sift the flour, baking soda and salt directly into the chocolate mixture and beat just until no trace of the dry ingredients remains.

Using a teaspoon, drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to space them at least 1 1/2" apart.  Using your thumb (it helps to wet it first) or the back of a spoon, make a small indentation in the center of each ball of dough and fill each with one large chocolate chip.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes (It took mine about 10 minutes).  Cool on the baking sheets on a rack for 20 minutes.  Remove the cookies to the rack and cool completely

Changes Made: I started with jumbo chocolate chips but didn't think they made enough of an impact and switched to Hershey Kisses.  Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.

My Results: The cookies came together pretty easily but the texture of the dough was very odd.  It was stickier and more liquid than most dough but still held together.  Baked the cookie almost resembles a meringue with the smooth crispy outside texture and the light softer middle.  The flavor was similar to a brownie and really would have been good even without the chocolate chip.

Bottom Line: I'm not sure this is a book I'll be rushing to buy right now.  While I liked these cookies and there are other recipes I'd like to try there just aren't all that many recipes in this book and a number of them are either Vegan or Gluten free which doesn't particularly interest me.  However, I do plan on getting this from the library again and trying a few more recipes.  If you bake a lot for entertaining or have dietary issues I think this would definitely be one not to pass up.  Otherwise, it's definitely great to try but not necessarily a buy.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand right now and I NEED THESE to go with! (yes, it does have a great name--the bakery. )

  2. It's like browsing Pinterest these days. Everything is GF or Vegan or Paleo or just plain weird. What happened to all of the traditional recipes?! :) Though I do love thumbprints and these sound fairly easy. But really...I LOVE the name Fat Witch!!

    1. Although I'm not on P. I sure know what you mean. We are a trendy country when it comes to food. I'm a vegetarian, but don't eat 'weird' foods. haha. I love regular baked goods and make them often.

  3. Yes - that is a catchy name for a book of baking recipes. The cookies sound amazing.

  4. The title is super cute! I like that the chapters are split into handy-dandy sections, though I'm not big on gluten-free or vegan baking either. The cookie sounds yummy, I love soft-centred cookies (:

  5. Nice post. Unforturnately I don't have the talent or temperament to bake! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  6. I am going to check out this book! Thank you! I love your description of it.

  7. That's the beauty of borrowing cookbooks from the library. This sounds like it was fun to look through and experiment with a recipe or two, but probably not add to the permanent collection.. Great name though:)

  8. I love the Chelsea Market and I adore The Fat Witch Bakery; although it is a super treat when we have it because as everything in NYC is usually pricey; Fat Witch is even more so. It is right up there with the popular NYC cupcake shops. The vegan recipes would be interesting to me because although I am only a pescetarian and my son only avoids red meat, I try to make as much as I can that is vegetarian and/or vegan. Thanks for the heads up on this book!

  9. Such a fun name! And recipes on the basic side are what I need! Pity about the texture but they sound very tasty.

  10. That is a great name for a bakery, Katherine. Definitely one you would remember. I'll have to mention the bakery to my son since it's in NYC. It's always disconcerting when a cookie dough consistency isn't what you expect it to be.

  11. I might take a look at this one, but haven't been baking much anymore. :(

  12. I like checking books out of the library before deciding to buy The fact that there are GF and vegan recipes makes this a good book for my friends and relatives on restricted diets (by choice or health).