Friday, December 23, 2016

"Southern Living Incredible Cookies" - Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies - Holiday Party Food!

Date I made this recipe – December 4, 2016 – Holiday Party Food!

Southern Living® Incredible Cookies by Southern Living® magazine
Published by Oxmoor House, Inc.
ISBN: 0-8487-2389-9; © 2000; Fourth Printing 2003
Purchased at Arc's Value Village Thrift Store, St. Paul
Recipe:  Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies – p. 71

So I had my sweet treat lineup all ready to go and then as per usual, I got "cold feet" wondering if I had enough cookies and if so, were they the "right kind" of cookies?

And by "right kind," I mean something chocolate.  Even better?  Chocolate and caramel.  This recipe fit the bill nicely.

I mentioned in a previous blog that there's no rhyme or reason per se for how we select cookies, but we do seem to opt for those that are unique, or those that have interesting (but good) flavors, and sometimes overlook party favorites i.e. anything chocolate. 

Except that's not quite right, either.  We do have chocolate cookies but not necessarily all-chocolate cookies like these are.  So at the last minute, I decided to add this one to the mix.  We made a similar cookie the past couple of years but this one was much easier to make and more chocolate-centric than the other one.  Plus, can we talk about the addition of caramel in the middle?  Oh yes we can and it was a game-changer!

Now these almost didn't happen because while I like this cookbook, the first couple of pages were iced and decorated cookies, and as I also mentioned in a previous blog, I eliminate those right off the back because they are time consuming. 

Then we had some shortbread cookie options– nice, but dull – and some "fruit" cookies but we already had one on deck and so there went that.  And so just as I was thinking I was going to have to re-shelve this book for another day, I stumbled upon these.  And after a quick consult with our star baker, my husband, Andy, we were "'Go' Flight!"

Cookie categories in this book are divided into the following:  "Rolled & Cut Cookies;" "Drop Cookies;" "Shaped Cookies;" "Bar Cookies," and "Simple Cookies." I'm not sure what distinguishes a "simple" cookie from another cookie but the editors decided to make it so and so it is so.

And speaking of editors, this cookbook was compiled by the editors of Southern Living® magazine, and while I can't say that anything I saw here smacked of being indigenous to the south, the recipes looked good and the one we selected tasted great.  I have several other Southern Living® cookbooks that are filled with more standard southern fare than this one, and I also enjoy leafing through Southern Living magazine, particularly their recipe sections.  But if you are not a magazine or cookbook person (what?!) but like looking at and making southern recipes, their website – – has plenty in every category that your heart desires.

Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies – Yield:  4 dozen
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup cocoa
1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (9-ounce) package chewy caramels in milk chocolate

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until cream; gradually add sugars, beating well.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour, baking soda, and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well.  Stir in ½ cup pecans.  Cover and chill dough at least 2 hours.  Combine remaining ½ cup pecans and 1 tablespoon sugar.

Divide each portion into 12 pieces.  Quickly press each piece of dough around a caramel; roll into a ball.  Dip 1 side of ball in pecan mixture.  Place balls, pecan side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  (Cookies will look soft.)  Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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