I know I’m starting the Christmas baking a little later this year but don’t worry, there will be lots of ideas for your Christmas cookie trays. Like these delicious Salted Caramel Thumbprints. Joel’s very favorite Christmas cookie is the traditional jam thumbprint cookie. I have never been a big fan of them but always make them for him, they just seem like a requirement at Christmastime for our family. Last year I decided to try an updated version and they were a huge hit. So why not continue with the unique updates and fill them with caramel instead?
When I stumbled across this recipe, I knew it was one that I would have to try when my dad was around. He is a caramel lover and I immediately thought of him when I saw these. My mom loves shortbread and tried one before they were filled with caramel and loved them. I think I will use the cookie recipe to make shortbread cookies in the future.
Needless to say, they were absolutely amazing and we devoured them rather quickly. The dough is a bit crumbly and it’s hard to not have cracks in the cookies so they aren’t super attractive but the taste totally makes up for their bumpy, lumpy appearance.
Have you noticed that my photos took a turn for the worse? Yep, my external flash is not working with my umbrella at the moment so the quality of lighting has become questionable…because I still don’t know how to perfectly work that darn camera. So, sorry about that.
- 1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla (if you have a stand mixer, use paddle attachment). In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a log, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take out the fridge and cut into 16 equal slices.
- Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Hold the cookie steady with one hand and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. The dough was pretty crumbly, even when shaped into balls. I had to sort of press each cookie down and shape it into a circle, then press the indentations in. A note on the indentations – I thought the cracked edges would be pretty, but the caramel oozed out of the cracks, so try not to have too many of cracks. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re just a little golden brown on the sides. Let cookies cool. While they’re cooling, make the caramel.
- Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar. While the sugar and water are going at it, heat up the cream in a saucepan or microwave just until warm. Take off the heat and add your room temperature butter. Whisk the butter in, being sure it’s totally combined. Add your warmed cream and whisk vigorously.
- Spoon a teaspoon of warm caramel into the indentations of your cookies and top with sea salt. You can eat right away or let sit for 2 hours so the caramel sets.