2/17/10

Caramel Thumbprints

Back in the mid 90's I started to receive a cooking magazine called Taste of Home. Around 1999 (I'm pulling this out of the depths of my brain here as I stopped receiving it in 2002) there was a cookie recipe similar to a Raspberry Thumbprint but was filled with a dab of melted chocolate instead of jam. I made my own version of these for years and started to drizzle melted caramel across them to give them a finished look. I was surprised when I saw online that Taste of Home then updated a version of that recipe around 2004 by flip-flopping the ingredients; caramel filling with chocolate drizzle. It was a moment of "why didn't I think of that!?" in all those years I made chocolate with caramel, why not caramel with chocolate!?

Caramel Thumbprints

1/2 c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
1 egg -- separated
2 T milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 c flour
1/3 c baking cocoa
1/4 t salt
1 c finely chopped pecans in a food processor pulse mode
Filling:
12 to 14 caramels
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Beat egg white. Dip balls into egg white and coat with nuts. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 1/2-inch indentation in the center of each ball. Bake at 350' for 10-12 minutes or until set. The 'holes' you made will puff a bit and be smaller now. Remove to wire racks to cool. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, melt caramels with cream over low heat; stir until smooth. Using about 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture, fill each cookie. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Drizzle over cookies.
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