A little cookie history: The first cookies were created by accident. Cooks used a small cake batter to test their oven temperature before baking a large cake. These little test cakes called “koeje”, meaning “little cake” in Dutch.
Originally called “little cakes”, cookies are made with sweet dough or batter, baked in servings and eaten out-of-hand. Perfect for snacking or as dessert, cookies are consumed in 95.2 % of U.S. households. Americans alone consume over 2 billion cookies a year, or 300 cookies for each person annually.
I learn how to bake cookies at the age of 14 yrs. old by my mom. Neither did I have an easy bake oven like my best friend next door, all I had was my mom’s oven and a cookie sheet. When I baked my first batch of sugar cookies, they got burnt because I used waxed paper instead of parchment paper. By the second batch, it looked decent but when I try to bit into them it was like trying to bite into a frisbee. LOL (Like this didn’t happen to you when you first started out). But through trial and error, reading books and magazines, and going to Culinary School, baking became a part of my life.
This recipe is a Caramel Nut Thumbprint cookie. The cookie is a shortbread cookie with a soft texture, lightly sweet, and no eggs. The filling is melted caramel candies, sprinkled with lightly toasted pecans, if you prefer you can use any nut you choose.
Yield: 2 dozen ( can be cut in half)
1 cup unsalted butter, @ room temperature 1/2 t. salt
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
22 pieces caramel candy (7oz.), bag unwrapped
3 T. heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
2. In a Kitchen aid mixer or hand-held mixer beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt together on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrap down the bowl and beater. Add the flour and mix on low-speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute.
3. Using a cookie scooper or 2 teaspoons of dough @ a time, and using the palms, roll into smooth balls to 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Arrange them about 1 – 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. There is two ways to do the next procedure: you can use the back of a teaspoon or the smaller end of the melon baller to make an indent in the middle of the cookie. If the edges crack or break open to much, just re-roll and try again, but if it cracks slightly proceed to the next step.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops of the cookie look dry and the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes & then transfer them to a cooling rack completely.
Caramel Filling: In a small saucepan, combine caramel candy and heavy cream. Set the pan over very low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until caramels have melted and the mixture is smooth 4-6 mins.
Arrange the cooled cookies on a sheet pan using a small spoon, put a small dollop warm caramel filling into each cookie center filling it to the rim. Sprinkle the nuts over the caramel and press them in lightly. Let cool completely before serving or storing. These will last up to 2 days but why wait it’s best to eat them on the first day. Bon Apetite!