Red Velvet Thumbprints

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: about 24 cookies
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Ingredients

For the cookies:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon red gel food coloring

For the filling:

3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Red sanding sugar, for decorating

Directions

  1. Make the cookies: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, shortening and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and food coloring and beat until smooth and the color is fully incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are puffed and set, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then make an indentation in each cookie using the back of a small measuring spoon. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
  3. Make the filling: Microwave the white chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Beat the cream cheese, butter and confectioners' sugar in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the white chocolate mixture, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into the indentations in the cookies. Sprinkle with red sanding sugar. Store in the refrigerator.