It is almost CHRISTMAS!!! 22 days left, and that means it is time to start planning that holiday baking marathon. These little beauties were actually from last year, which I dubbed “CookiePalooza 2012” because I made 10 different kinds of cookies in 7 or 8 different boxes for my husband’s office and the kids’ school. It was 3 solid days of mixing, baking, and packing, and I was happily exhausted at the end of it.
This year, I’m back home in the great state of Washington, and that means CookiePalooza 2013 is going to be even bigger and better than ever because I have some awesome bakers here to help a girl out.
However you decide to do your Christmas baking spree, these Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Treasures should definitely be on your list. They look much more complicated than they actually are, thankfully, and they taste amazing.
The recipe calls for using store-bought caramels, but this year I’m going to make a few batches of my own, and use that.
Aren’t they amazing looking?
Make these and report back! If you send me photos of your creations I will share them on my facebook page and on the blog. I love hearing your feedback!
- Preheat oven to 350. Prep two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl combine flour and cocoa powder and set aside. In another bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until well combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
- Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, and mix well. If the batter gets too tough to mix, use a wooden spoon to finish mixing in the flour. (This will only be an issue if you are using a hand mixer. A stand mixture should power through this no problem.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 cup of chopped hazelnuts in a bowl. Dip balls in egg white and roll in hazelnuts. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are firm.
- While the cookies are baking, in a small saucepan cook caramels and cream over low heat until caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring frequently.
- Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use the rounded side of a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon to press down the center of each cookie. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each cookie.
- Using a double boiler, or a glass pyrex-type bowl over a pot of simmering water, heat chocolate until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in shortening until fully combined. Drizzle over cookies in a zig zag pattern. Let cool to harden before storing.
- Store cookies in an air-tight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 weeks.