Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I am busy working in the kitchen, making all the cookies and sweet treats that everyone loves and few take the time to make.

Jose "Cobra" and his university friends along with my friends, the dentists, Mercedes and Lizzeth are my daily taste testers.

Each time I make something, I have to make enough extra for about 10 people to try it out and see if it is good and then the rest is saved until the Christmas Party. Oh how I miss my huge kitchen in Kansas.

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Prep: 30 min.
Chill: 2 hours
Bake: 10 minutes per batch

• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
• 3 tablespoons whipping cream
• 1-1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
• 1 teaspoon shortening


1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. 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.
2. 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.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small saucepan heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
4. 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.
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. (If necessary, reheat caramel mixture to keep it spoonable.)
6. 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.* Let stand until chocolate is set.
7. Makes about 36 cookies
8. *Tip: If desired, transfer the warm chocolate mixture to a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle cookies with chocolate mixture.

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