Thursday, November 29, 2012

52 cookies :: week 41 :: coconut thumbprint cookies with salted caramel

I love this time of year. And all the baking memories that come with it. Now, with Thanksgiving in our pocket, I am in full-on holiday mode. We have parties to attend and trips to take. I've purused blogs and magazine articles, drooling over holiday cookie baking lists. With less than a month until Christmas and only 10 weeks left in our challenge I'm a little obsessed with baking. I've even got a pinboard for the 52 cookies - as well as one with a dedicated ho-ho-holiday theme.

This cookie felt like the season to me. And in our favor, the temps have dipped and the rain clouds arrived. A perfect day for a coconut covered shortbread with a taste of salted caramel and a cup of tea.

52 cookies

Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
MSL February 2012

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 oz sweetened flaked coconut
44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces)
6 tblsp heavy cream
large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press an indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove sheets from oven, and re-press indentations (I used a metal 1/4 tsp for this round). Bake cookies until golden, 9 to 10 minutes more. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt*. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled.

*I salted half - and left half unsalted for the salt sensitive amongst us.

52 cookies

* * * * *

K: These cookies are so good. The caramel is so tasty in the coconutty cup. I don't really like it with salt - I like it plain. But some other people like it with salt.

E: I ::heart:: the caramel. These cookies are good for the holidays. They aren't really an every day cookie. Delicious.

D: These gooey little buddies got gobbled up in one minute at my work holiday potluck. They were like "shafts of golden light" that we fellow hunchbacks devoured as we sat on the palace floor. Dirty hands and clean minds,.. Er... Clean hands and dirty minds, softly gripped the fragile coconut pastry and then tore into its warm center with their sharpened beaks. Only crumbs and satisfaction were left to contemplate their existence on the cold grey travertine.


amy h said...

Ooh, these do look like a good Christmas cookie. I may have to make these!

rebecca said...

that's such a cute tea pot! and i love the way you wrote, "...with Thanksgiving in our pocket..." that's really how this time of year feels. ticking holidays and events off our list at a quick pace, but still holding onto the memories. the days and weeks... and weekends! are full. calder will have been in portland the last 3 out of 4 weekends!

wish you could come by my studio tomorrow and see all the stuff i've been working on. late late nights for weeks, but i'm so happy with all that i've accomplished. i'll share the final pieces soon - documenting seems like an important part of the job and i haven't given the time yet to do it right.

will you be passing through our part of the world?! maybe you could stop by. we'd love that!

as for the cookies...
oh, david, you poor hunchback suffering on your horrible, cold palace floor. i feel for you, man.