Friday, February 7, 2014

Salted Caramel Thumbprints

These babies caught my eye and were deemed "rip-worthy" - so I ripped the page out of the Dash (original recipe here) newspaper insert over the holidays, set it on the dining room table for 3 months, and finally got around to making these cookies. They are definitely rip-worthy. I just tweaked it a teeny bit.  The fam loved them, and I'm hoping the bake sale shoppers will, too!

BTW, this is a solid sugar cookie dough, so you can use it for a cut-out cookie, or whatever.  Their feature had a few different recipes in it.  I was impressed.  Anyway, back to the one I actually MADE....

Salted Caramel Thumbprints

3 c. AP flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. whole milk (I used skim, and nothing horrible happened)
1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
2 egg whites, beaten
1/2 - 1 c. finely crushed pretzels
18-20 (ish) chewy caramel candies (I used Kraft since I was in a hurry and they were fine and all, but next time I might something more awesome like Becky's Blissful Bakery caramels next time)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover your baking sheet with parchment and set aside.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.  Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, mix to combine.  Add milk and vanilla extract, mix to combine.  Gently form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper, and chill for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days, apparently).  Crush pretzels, and beat egg whites.  Unwrap and slice a few caramels in half.  (The recipe in Dash had crushed peanuts involved as well, but I don't think they needed them at all.)

Roll chilled dough into 1" (about 1 oz.) balls, and coat each ball in egg white.  Roll each ball through pretzel crumbs, then place on cookie sheet (allow 1-2" between each ball).  Use your thumb (thumbprints, get it?) to make an indentation.  Place a caramel piece in there.  Bake until the bottoms just start to turn brown, about 12-18 minutes, depending on your oven.  Cool on the baking sheet, then immediately consume one of the cookies.  So good!

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