Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day One: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints Recipe

Welcome to the first day of the PammiCakes 12 Days of Christmas Indulgences ! Thanks for stopping by.  I am so excited for holiday baking season!  It brings me so much joy to cook and bake for people that I love.  It must be my mix of Irish/Italian blood always cooking and baking for a small army.  I must have learned this from my mother.  At any family gathering, she always serves at least 4 vegetable sides, a main dish, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls and a table full of beautiful desserts.  It is fantastic because we always leave extra full and with at least one large grocery bag full of leftovers for the week!

Ok, onto the first holiday indulgence; Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints.  I stumbled upon this recipe while going through the Sunday paper.  My Sunday morning ritual is to go through the paper and clip my coupons before I head off to the grocery store.  I love coupons and saving money where I can!  In the weekly fliers was an advertisement featuring cookie recipes.  I started salivating immediately when I saw the chocolate caramel thumbprints photo.  These cookies combine some of my favorite things; chocolate, cookies, caramel!  Unite those three into one creation and it sounds perfect to me and my taste buds.  We tried them out the other weekend and they stood worthy of being part of the 12 Days of Christmas Indulgences.  So without further ado, I present the Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints Recipe
Recipe adapted from Host A Cookie Party
Makes 4 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 350o

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature 
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup caramel flavored topping

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  

Beat brown sugar and butter in medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour and cocoa on low speed until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate shallow bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. It may be necessary to recreate the indentation once again with a spoon. Place about 1 teaspoon caramel topping into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

1)      As I always preach on this blog, use what you have.  If you don’t have pecans, no problem.  Use walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds instead!  They would all work really well.
2)      Invest in cookie scoops!  These help save so much time and size all the cookies the same.  This helps save time and ensuring consistency through your entire batch.

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