If you are relatively new here, you might think that this is a baking only blog. First there is the name. Dana Treat implies, well, treats – right? And then there would be the fact there have been an awful lot of cakes and cookies here as of late. The last time I wrote about a main course was on November 20th. (Peanut Curry. It’s a good one.)
The fact of the matter is that after I cooked for Thanksgiving, main courses have not been a big part of my life. The things I have been making are not really worth writing about. My husband has been traveling a lot so I’ve been eating a lot of scrounged leftovers and baked potatoes. Yawn.
And then there is the fact that between the teachers, bus drivers, babysitters and speech therapists in our lives there are 13 gift bags to fill. Don’t even get me started on family. And so, I started baking. And I just kept baking. And actually, I have some more baking to do. But I also have some big meals coming up so I hope to share a few more savory things in the next few weeks. Until then, go make these cookies.
This is yet another one of these delicious recipes that I made long ago and just lost track of. As I was making out my Baking List 2009, I stumbled upon them. This is a great bang for your buck recipe. Yes, there is a bit of fussing but nothing about it is hard. The dough is incredibly easy to make and you can do it a day or two ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator. The caramel filling is nothing more than store-bought caramels melted down with some cream, so if making caramel scares you – no worrying necessary. Gourmet? Not really, but who cares? And the chocolate drizzle requires nothing more complicated than a Ziploc bag. At the end of it all you get this very fancy looking and incredibly delicious cookie. Double the recipe because you will want lots.
One Year Ago: Ina Garten’s Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Chocolate Caramel Treasures
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
I really never grease my sheets when making cookies, but you will need to do so with this recipe. Or you can use parchment paper.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
For Caramel Filling
10 (1-by 1/2-inch) plain caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp. heavy cream
For Chocolate Drizzle
3 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Beat together butter, sugar, yolk, milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended well. Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt and beat on low speed until mixture forms a dough. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap until firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll scant tablespoons of dough into balls, then coat with egg white, letting excess drip off, and roll in nuts to coat. Arrange balls, as coated, 1 1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheets and press your thumb into center of balls to flatten, leaving a depression. Bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed slightly but centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press centers of cookies again. (Use the handle end of a wooden spoon.) Transfer to racks to let cool.
Make filling while cookies are cooling:
Heat caramels and cream in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and mixture is smooth. Spoon into centers of cookies and cool completely.
Make chocolate drizzle:
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool to warm (this will take about 45 minutes) and pour into a sandwich size sealable plastic bag. Seal bag, press chocolate to one corner and snip off a very small hole. Drizzle chocolate over cookies and let stand until set, about 30 minutes.