06 February 2015

Virtual Supper Club - Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints

This month, the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club honors Oscar-nominated films and this girl has gone straight for the Chocolat ! Or is that chocolate? Well, a bit of both, I suppose!

 Chocolat, Lasse Hallstrom's 2000 film became an instant hit when it was released. Starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, with a strong supporting cast including Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, and Lena Olin, the story centers on Vianne. She and her daughter drift from place to place on a north wind. When the breeze sets them down in a small French village at the beginning of Lent, fireworks fly when Vianne opens a chocolaterie that tempts the villagers to enjoy life even as the Holy Season (and the uptight mayor) dictates that they deny their senses in observance of Lent.

The strangers that come to the village change the townspeople's attitudes and force the mayor to look at his own existence. In the process of running her shop, Vianne makes strong connections to several women in the town and meets a young vagabond who will romance her and win her daughter's trust too.

The film was nominated for five Academy awards including best picture. It is one of my all-time favorite movies!

The cookies that I chose to share in this post reminded me of the Nipples of Venus, those gorgeous chocolate truffles with which Vianne tempts the mayor when he enters her shop to 'inspect' her activities. The cookies, however, are made with a lot less fanfare. They are a classic thumbprint cookie with a dollop of Nutella swirled into place once the cookies have cooled from the oven.

Now, about the Cooking Light recipe ... I had to put the egg whites into the dough to get it moist enough to make the dough balls. Using just the gg yolks made for a far too scrappy dough. As for this being a light recipe, the light factor is achieved by keeping the serving to one cookie ... 104 calories, not including the egg whites. Ah well, they are worth every calorie ! Truly delicious!

They would be a perfect special treat for a tea party or as a nice gift at Valentine's Day.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints
a Cooking Light recipe

Oven 350° F – for about 10 minutes


4 ½ oz. all purpose flour
1 c. powdered sugar
⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
½ c. butter, softened
2 large egg yolks ( I added the whites also)
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract ( I used 1 tsp.)
⅔ c. finely chopped hazelnuts
about ⅓ c. Nutella hazelnut/chocolate spread

Making the Cookies:

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, cocoa, and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and whip until light and airy.
  3. Mix the egg yolks and the espresso powder in a small prep bowl and add to the butter. Whip together along with the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix until the dough begins to come together. Use the back of the spoon to knead the dough until thoroughly combined and shiny.
  5. Place the finely chopped nuts in a shallow bowl.
  6. Using two teaspoons, drop dollops (about the size of a walnut) into the nuts.
  7. Sprinkle some nuts atop the dollop of dough and use your hands to gentle form round dough balls.
  8. Place the nut encrusted cookies on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (about two inches apart) and use your thumb to press a small dip into the center of each cookie.
  9. Bake for ten minutes or until completely set.
  10. Pull the parchment paper from the cookie sheet to a cool surface so the cookies can set up and cool.
  11. Spoon a small dollop of Nutella into each cookie top when the cookies have cooled completely.
  12. Store loosely covered in one layer.

Makes: 20 – 24 cookies.

 The rest of this Oscar- nominated menu looks to be stellar, also! Let's see what others are sharing!

Shelby honors The Help by making Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwichs
Jerry got inspiration from Into the Woods and made us North Woods Bean Soup
Sarah paid homage to The Hundred Foot Journey by wowing us with Pigeonneau Fermier Roti aux Epices Douces
Sandi loved Eat, Pray, Love  so she shared  Fontal Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms with us
Val honored The Queen by making Cranberry-Orange Trifle and Pimm's Cup

I'm thinking that all these incredible dishes make for a delicious pre-awards dinner!


  1. I love that film. I love those gorgeous little cookies too. So perfect.

  2. Chocolat is one of my favourite movies as well Susan. The thumbprint cookies look delectable.

  3. They look decadent, pretty, and delicious!

  4. Love your recipes AND your photos!

  5. A movie that cheers me up, when thing in life look a bit drab. Adore those cookies, I would happily eat one or two -and that is just for breakfast

  6. How could you only eat just one, I think I would have to have two or three…they sound delicious.


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