Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints

Chocolatey Thumbprint CaramelsCookie Time!

I have holiday whiplash. Just when I was settling into turkey and pie Thanksgiving was over, and now my family is getting ready for our Holiday Cookie Exchange this weekend. We bought our tree on Sunday, and now it is in it’s preferred spot awaiting adornment. I am in a mad dash around the house to get the rest of the decorations up in time for Sunday’s soiree. Did I mention that my husband was in New York on business all week, and that my daughter’s school called to have me pick her up because she is sick? Ho. Ho. Ho.

The good thing is that the kids are old enough now to actually help rather than hinder, and the help required is making cookies. Cleaning the bathroom would be nice too but I know that ain’t happenin’. What kid (or adult for that matter) doesn’t want to help make cookies?

For sanity’s sake, I am sticking with classics this year for my cookie line up. Shortbread, Swedish Ginger Cookies, Spritz Cookies and last but not least, just for decadence, I am making Chocolatey Caramel Thumbprints.

I am sucker for anything with chocolate, caramel and nuts so these babies are a no-brainer. I am still on the fence as to whether I will share them or not.…I think they will be my reward for cleaning the bathroom! 

Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints
Better Homes and Gardens

1 egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
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

Separate the egg, and place the 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. until softened. Add the sugar and beat well. Then beat in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt with a spoon. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until it is well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours or until it is easy to handle.

Preheat the 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.

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 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.)

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 the finished cookies stand until chocolate is set. Makes 36 cookies.

Note: 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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