Chocolate Salted Caramel Thumbprints

 

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Chocolate, nuts, caramel and a sprinkle of salt, one of the best combinations of ingredients that could possibly come together in a delicious cookie!

My previously posted Thumbprint Cookie recipe makes the best buttery cookie with a sweet jam filled center. Homemade peach, pear or strawberry jam take these cookies over the top making them extra special, especially if it happens to be someone’s favourite cookie.

These usually find a place on a holiday cookie tray and a batch is sure to be coming out of the oven once a year in celebration of a special birthday. On the other hand the Chocolate Salted Caramel version of the Thumbprint Cookie is sure to satisfy the chocolate and caramel lover,  the sprinkle of rock salt on top makes them a little more interesting to the pallet !

Although this cookie lacks the shape and colours of a traditional Valentine Cookie, it’s the kiss of salt that lingers after they are enjoyed.

That gentle kiss gives it every right to be classified as a true Valentine Cookie!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter room temperature
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
12 wrapped soft caramel candies
3 tablespoons heavy cream (whipping cream)

  1. Sift flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl.
  2. With electric beater beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg yolk, milk and vanilla mixing until well blended.
  3. Add flour mixture at low speed until mixture is just combined.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
  5. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.
  6. Place finely chopped pecans into another bowl.
  7. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, dip into egg whites then roll in pecans.
  8. Place balls about 1 ½ inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  9. Make indentations in center of each ball with a thimble or back of a ½ inch measuring spoon.
  10. Bake until set about 12 minutes, once cookies are removed from oven gently repress existing indentations.
  11. Unwrap caramels and place with cream into a bowl,  microwave  stirring occasionally until melted then fill each indentation with caramel mixture.
  12. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
  13. Melt 3 tablespoons chocolate chips with ½ teaspoon shortening and lightly drizzle over cooled cookies.
  14. Sprinkle tops with a small amount of rock or sea salt.

Notes,Tips and Suggestions

  • For basic pictures follow those posted for Thumbprint Cookies.
  • Recipe suggests refrigerating dough before forming into balls, I found this unnecessary as the dough was firm enough.
  • I found the extra egg white called for in the recipe was not needed as one egg white was sufficient to dip all the cookie balls in with some left over. Saved an egg!
  • Melting caramels with heavy cream in a bowl over a pot of simmering water also works well. I prefer this to the microwave method.
  • As always use the best cocoa powder you can find for most delicious results. “Ruby Red” cocoa powder available at the Bulk Barn is one of the best I’ve come across.
  • Using a piping bag to fill centers with caramel keeps things nice and neat, cool the mixture down a little but keep it soft enough to pour in.  The caramel begins to set in a short time.

 

 

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