Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Whenever I think of thumbprint cookies, I think of the traditional butter cookie with jam in the middle.  My husband loves these.  They were never a part of my holiday traditions growing up, and I'm just not a huge fan of jam in baked goods.  Seems too healthy.   So when I came across this gem of a recipe, I knew I had to make it.  And let me tell you, these do not disappoint!  It is a chocolatey cookie (tasty in it's own right) then filled with gooey caramel, then drizzled with more chocolate!!!!  Oh yes, this is a good cookie!

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
from Christmas Cookies: 50 Recipes to Treasure for the Holiday Season by Lisa Zwirn

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt

Caramel Filling:
20 caramels, unwrapped
¼ cup heavy cream, (or whipping cream)

Chocolate Drizzle
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the whole egg and egg yolk. Mix in the vanilla extract. With the beaters on low speed, add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until well combined. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment or a Silpat.

Remove one dough half from the refrigerator. Roll pieces of the dough into 1-inch balls. PLace about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Make an indentation in the center of each ball using the handle end of a wooden spoon (or your thumb), being careful not to go all the way through the dough.

Bake for about 13 minutes or until the cookies feel just slightly firm. Immediately upon removing the cookies, again use the handle on the wooden spoon to reinforce and slightly widen the indentation. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Caramel Filling:
Heat the caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Using the smallest, narrowest spoon you have, spoon the caramel into the indentations of the cookies, filling just up to the rim. If the caramel becomes too thick, place the saucepan back over low heat for a few seconds. Let the caramel set before drizzling the cookies with chocolate.

For the Chocolate Drizzle:
Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals on medium power, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. If not too hot, spoon (or pour) chocolate into a disposable decorating bag. PLace the cookies close together, but not touching, on racks set over wax paper. Cut just the tip of the decorating bag and drizzle chocolate in a zigzag pattern over the cookies. Let the chocolate completely set before storing cookies.

Store layered between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container.

Yield: 60 cookies

Notes:  This cookie is like a Rolo in cookie form!  For longer storage, store in refrigerator.  I used a metal 1/8 teaspoon to spoon the caramel into the cookies.  Any spoon small and pointy will work best for this.

Only 2 more recipes until Christmas!

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