Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

I think I was a little over-ambitious this weekend. I don’t expect I’ll be making two recipes every weekend. My goal should probably be one…

Anyway, I did decide to try another sweet treat I’ve been eyeing for a while. This time, I made the Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. My family is all about the salted caramel, especially the kind my sister makes. I should get her recipe for the next time I make these… The caramel in this recipe doesn’t compare to the individual candies she whips up. But, it was pretty tasty!

There are a lot of recipes out there for this type of cookie. I found this one on http://www.afroginmysoup.com/. You can see it here… http://www.afroginmysoup.com/2012/salted-caramel-cookies/

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Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

First off, I put together my ingredients, of course. This time, I remembered to cream the sugar with the butter and vanilla! Thank goodness because that’s important for a shortbread cookie dough.

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It turned into a pretty typical shortbread dough – very sticky! I stuck it in the fridge for a few hours. My refrigerator has a bad habit of freezing stuff so it was pretty firm when it came out. No worries, though.

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Rolling them into balls was easy. The tough part was sticking my thumb into the dough! I had to widen the thumbprints quite a bit but it was easy to mold into the right shape.

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The flatten quite a bit in the oven. Just find something rounded and small to form the thumbprints, again. Don’t use your thumb – it’s hot!

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I didn’t make my own caramel… I used wrapped squares and melted them in the microwave with a little water. It was very smooth but, like I said, can’t compared with homemade caramels. I will remember this for next time. But the finished product is very, very pretty! And doesn’t everyone love salted caramel?

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Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel:

  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

(Or be lazy like me and use store-bought caramels!)

Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, sugar and egg. Add vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Refrigerate for 1 hour, up to overnight.

Scoop level tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.

Place on a silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Press your thumb into the top of each ball, creating a place for the caramel.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re barely golden on the sides.

To make the caramel:

Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan.  Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel color, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar. While the sugar and water cooking, heat up the cream in a saucepan or microwave just until warm.

Take off the heat and add your room temperature butter. Whisk the butter in, being sure it’s totally combined. Add your warmed cream and whisk vigorously. Mixture will bubble, then settle down to a velvety caramel.

By now your cookies should be cooled. Spoon the caramel in to the thumbprints and top with sea salt.

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