Sunday, December 22, 2013

Salted Caramel Coconut Tumbprint Cookies

About a week ago I asked my friends and family on Facebook what their favorite cookie was. I got many delicious responses; almost all of which I've never made. So, I was on a cookie making mission. I wanted to try all of cookies that had just been suggested to me, and while I haven't made it through all of them yet, I am well on my way.
   My cousin Jaci said this was one of her favorites (along with a chocolate and caramel thumbprint cookie that I'll share with you in a bit), and she was gracious enough to give me a recipe. Tried as I might to stick to the letter of this recipe, I still changed it a bit - and the recipe listed reflects my changes. I brought these along to a Christmas party my family and I attended last night, and the hostess liked these cookies so much that she asked for the recipe. So, Ramona this is for you. :)
    While I didn't take step by step pictures of the process, the instructions should explain it all. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll be more than happy to help you out!
    These really are quite tasty little morsels, and I'm glad I have the recipe so I can make them again and again.

Here is it:

Coconut Thumbprints with Salted Caramel

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened (I always use salted)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1 egg, seperated
6 oz sweetened flaked coconut
15 caramels, unwrapped
3 Tbsp cream
coarse Kosher salt or flaky Sea Salt

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts along with the egg yolk. Mix in salt and flour. Form into 1 inch balls (I had to squeeze the mixture together and then roll it into balls). Whip the egg white until frothy. Roll each ball into the egg white and then into the coconut. Place onto a parchment line baking sheet and press and indentation into the top of each cookie (using your thumb or a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon). Optional: refrigerate for 1 hour before baking. 
   When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 10 minutes on the top rack and then repress the indentations using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon (so you don't burn yourself!). Rotate the pans and cook for another 2-7 minutes. The cookie should be set and the coconut browned but not burnt. 
   Place the unwrapped caramels into a sauce pan along with the cream, and heat together over low heat stirring constantly. When the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth you are ready to fill your cookies. *Using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, fill each cookie indentation. Sprinkle with sea salt (or Kosher salt) and then let **set before moving or packaging. 

*You can reheat the caramel if it sets before all the cookies are filled.
**The caramel stays soft in the center, so be careful when packaging because they can stick to each other and other holiday goodies. Wax paper works nicely as a barrier.

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