These cookies are chockfull of pecans, so take this into account when sharing with others. We don't recommend omitting the nuts though, because they help to hold the cookie together.
Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
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 (we used regular caramels)
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Then add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla (make sure to put the egg white in the fridge, because you won't need to use it for about 2 hours).
- Stir together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, and salt) in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. The original recipe says to lightly grease a cookie sheet, but we didn't bother.
- In a small pot, melt caramels with whipping cream over low heat. Stir (milk burns quickly) until mixture is smooth. Set the pot aside.
- Slightly beat egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, and then in pecans. The egg white will make the pecans stick.
- Place the balls of dough an inch or two apart (they spread!) on the cookie sheet. Use your thumb to make a dent on the top of each cookie.
- Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If the center indents disappeared while baking, redo them with your thumb (or a spoon if the cookie is hot). Spoon melted caramel mixture into the dents. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate if you want to up the decadence factor. Enjoy!
The caramel really spreads!
Store these in the fridge to keep the cookies from sticking together.