The 2010 edition of America’s Test Kitchen’s Holiday Cookies magazine was a good one. Not only was it filled with a variety of concoctions, but more than half of the 64 recipes were actually good. I hate it when I buy a magazine containing what look like promising recipes, only to have them turn out poorly or not how I had hoped or expected.
One of my favorite recipes from this edition was Chocolate Turtle Cookies. They take the idea of thumbprint cookies to a whole new level with their chocolate cookie base, nutty adornment and chocolate filling. They’re one of the most gorgeous cookies I’ve ever made. If you love chocolate, caramel and nuts, this is the recipe for you. The recipe calls for melting caramels for the filling but, if you’re feeling ambitious, as I usually am, you can make the caramel from scratch using your favorite recipe.
If you’re working on a cookie platter for the holidays, be sure to give this recipe the time it deserves. It’s worth the effort and will make a nice addition to any dessert tray or other array of holiday food. If you don’t like pecans substitute peanuts or another kind of nut. You really can’t go wrong.
By the way, this week I passed 1,000 hits on my blog since I started it nearly six months ago. Thanks for reading.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine
14 soft caramel candies
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using 1/2 teaspoon, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
Microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.