Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon shortening
1. Separate the egg, placing the yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill the egg white until needed. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat well. Beat in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.
2. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small saucepan, heat and stir caramels and whipping cream over low heat until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
4. Slightly beat the reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in pecans to coat. Place the balls 1-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon the melted caramel mixture into the indentations of the cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool.
6. In another saucepan, heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over top of the cookies. Let stand until the chocolate is set.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens (Bhg.com)