9/16/08

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Originally this recipe came from a couple different sources. The first being the traditional Christmas fare that you make with a bit of jelly in the center around the holidays but one year back around 2000 I was thinking about pressing a chocolate kiss into them instead of spooning in a bit of jelly. Instead, while looking through a recipe magazine I subscribed to, I found a recipe for Chocolate Thumbprints. This sounded yummy and for the next couple years I made them (much to my families happiness).

Finally, about 5 years ago I found another version - this one using caramel as the filler with a pretty drizzle of chocolate over them. This was more my style! I love caramel but don't have a huge love of chocolate so the nuts and caramel in this version were a delicious change from the cherry jam or chocolate. So many possibilities! This version comes from the Better H*mes and G*ardens magazine from a few years ago and is a wonderful 'Fall' cookie to serve!

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

1 egg
1/2 c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t salt
16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
3 T whipping cream
1-1/4 c finely chopped pecans
1/2 c (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 t shortening


Separate egg and place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and refrigerate the white portion until later. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 or until edges are firm. Repress the thumbprint if it baked out and puffed up again. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.

In another saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies.
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