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I’ve reached a little landmark and just wanted you to know about it. This year, my “little engine that could” blog has had over 10,00 views. It matters not in the least that about 5,000 of those were done by me, checking to see if anyone was actually coming to read what I had written. Well, I may never beat McDonald’s in regard to their number of customers served, but my blog is free, and their burgers aren’t, so I do have that working for me. So there! And if I can call myself a Cookie Contest Queen when not another soul was competing against me, (see my last blog post) I can certainly trumpet 10,000 views of my blog, no matter who was doing the viewing.
In celebration of this fact, and because a few of y’all have been bugging me about this, I feel I owe my readers the recipe for the second cookie contest that I won where I actually competed against someone. The recipe is called Chocolate Caramel Treasures. It’s more involved (read this as: more work) than the Raspberry Shortbread, but it has the “wow” factor in terms of appearance. You see these cookies, and if you love chocolate and caramel, you must have one. I got this recipe from the recently deceased (and much mourned in MY heart) Gourmet Magazine, Christmas of 1999. Beautiful to behold and delicious to eat are my
Chocolate Caramel Treasures
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
for Caramel Filling
10 plain caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
for Chocolate Drizzle
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) finely chopped
1. 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.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. 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 soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press centers of cookies again (we used handle end of a wooden spoon). Transfer to racks to cool.
Make filling while cookies cool
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 one hour before serving
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool to warm and pour into a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip 1 corner to form a small hole. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies and let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Makes about 2 and a half dozen.