Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints

~Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints~

Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Chill Time: 2 Hours (I know it seems like a lot but it'll be worth it)
Bake Time (per batch): 10 Minutes
Oven Temp: 350F
Makes: Approximately 32 Cookies

Ingredients:
1 Large Egg
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Softened Butter
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoons Vanilla
16 Vanilla Caramels
3 Tablespoons Whipping Cream
1 1/4 Cups of Finely Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Pieces
1 Teaspoon Shortening


Step One:
Separate Egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls.  Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set off to the side.

Step Two:
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds.  Add in the sugar.  Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure you get all your deliciousness.  Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla until all is combined.  Beat in flour mixture on low speed until combined.  Cover and chill about two hours or until dough is easy to handle. 

Step Three:
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (you only want to keep the cookies from sticking not have them slide off onto the floor, please, LIGHTLY grease) and set aside. For filling, in a small heavy saucepan cook and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth.  Set aside.

Step Four:
Lightly beat the reserved egg white.  Place pecans in small bowl. Boll balls in egg white then in becans to coat.  Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.  Press your thumb into the center of each ball. 

Step Five:
Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are firm (remember heat times vary depending on ovens so watch for firm edges).  If cookie centers purr during baking re-press with the back of a spoon.  Spoon filling into the indentation in each cookie.  Transfer to a wire rack; cool. (If necessary, reheat filling to keep spoonable.)

Step Six:
In another small saucepan cook and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until melted; cool slightly.  Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until set.

STORAGE:
Place cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

**This is not my personal recipe**


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