Friday, January 13, 2012

Coconut Caramel Thumbprints

Ahh...coconut.  Tropical, fragrant, delectable - a perfect ingredient for a fine cookie.  These buttery little delights are made and coated with coconut and topped with a caramel kiss.  Where I live, Caramel Hershey Kisses are only available around holidays, but you could just as easily crown these cookies with Rolos (or regular chocolate Kisses, of course; cherry cordial or coconut Kisses would be excellent, too).
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten.  These cookies are easy to make, look fantastic, and are really delicious.  A must-try!

Coconut Caramel Thumbprints
Adapted from Ina Garten

5 oz sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 egg white + 1 tsp water
Caramel Hershey Kisses OR Rolos, unwrapped (you will need about 37 candies)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Pulse the sweetened coconut in a food processor until it is cut into small pieces.  Pour the coconut into a bowl.  Set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, desiccated coconut, and salt together.  Set aside.

4.  Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until creamy.  Add the extracts and beat to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl.  Beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

6. Beat the egg white and water together in a bowl until well blended.

7.  Scoop tablespoonfuls of the dough.  Roll the balls in the egg wash, then roll in the sweetened coconut to coat.  Place the coated balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1" between each.

8.  Gently press the center of each dough-ball with your finger to make an indention.

9.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the coconut coating is golden brown.

10.  Press a candy into the center of each cookie.  Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.  Do not disturb the cookies as they cool or the melting chocolate candies can become misshapen.

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