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Monday, April 7, 2014

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

coconut caramel thumbprint cookies
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
Few things are sweeter than watching your husband with your child. I love the moment when Ryan gets home from work each day. Sometimes this is because I'm chomping at the bit to head out on a run, but it's usually because I love to watch Brecken and Ryan interact. I've known from the moment she was born that she'd have him wrapped around her finger, and watching it play out is oh-so-sweet. Right now "playtime" usually consists of Ryan singing to her (they have Beatles sing and dance parties) or practicing her tummy time, but I can't wait to watch their relationship grow as time goes on!
Pin Itcoconut caramel thumbprint cookies
These cookies are sweet too, but nowhere near as sweet as Ryan and Brecken. That's actually a good thing. The cookie base is essentially a buttery shortbread, and when rolled in coconut and filled with salted caramel, they have an ideal ratio of flavors. Although there are a few steps involved, you can easily break it down and do it over a few days. I made the dough and chilled it, then rolled and baked the cookies the next day. Finally, I filled them with coconut and then chilled them in the fridge, where they kept for days. These would be a perfectly sweet addition to your Easter meal!

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Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
from Martha Stewart Living, February 2012

-3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-table salt
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-12 oz sweetened flaked coconut
-12 oz soft caramel candies (or bag of caramel balls)
-6 tbsp heavy cream
-large, flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, followed by the vanilla. 
2. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 tsp table salt. Beat to combine. (If desired, dough can be chilled at this point.)
3. Place beaten eggs in one bowl and coconut in a second bowl. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and dip each ball in the egg bowl, followed by the coconut. 
4. Place coconut covered balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Use your thumb to press an imprint into the center of each ball. 
5. Bake for 10 minutes and remove sheets from oven. Re-press indentations into the cookies and return baking sheets to the oven to bake for an addition 9-10 minutes, until cookies are golden. Allow cookies to cool completely on wire racks and repeat with remaining dough.
6. Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until caramel is melted and smooth (4-6 minutes). Spoon caramel into the center of each cookie and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow caramel to harden before storing in an airtight container.