What a title for the post, right? But I kid you not…make these cookies and acquire new best friends, or just remind the old ones one of the reasons they are your friends! Conversely, make these cookies and “possession is 9/10ths of the law” battles might ensue with your spouse. (I’ll note that we reached an armistice peacefully enough, splitting the remaining cookies equally).
These cookies are divine, little bites of heaven, with a touch of sweet coconut, creamy caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt to contrast.
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel, from Martha Stewart Living, February 2012
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Table salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 12 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut
- 44 small soft caramel candies (I used Kraft)
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Large, flaky sea salt
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar and butter in a mixer. Beat together until fluffily, then add in the vanilla. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add flour, 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and mix until combined. At this point, the dough will look very sticky. Press the dough together using plastic wrap, then roll into roughly 1 and 1/4 inch balls. Dip each one in the beaten egg, then continue by rolling it in the flaked coconut. Place the dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Press an indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for about 10 to 11 minutes. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven – here comes the fun part: repress the thumbprint and then bake the cookies again, 9 to 10 minutes until golden. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack. Rinse and repeat.
The process is mildly involved. I took the strategy of pre rolling the dough, then dipping, coconut rolling, and thumb-printing while a previous batch baked in the oven.
While the cookies are cooling, place caramels (try not to eat too many beforehand) and heave cream in a saucepan. Using low heat, cook, stirring until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the caramel into the indentations, springily with sea salt, and allow to settle. You can rewarm the caramel mixture if it hardens. And if you have left over (like we did), feel free to dip apple slices in the warm sauce.
Stored in an airtight container, these cookies are best within 2-3 days. If they last that long.