We’re back to weekly recipes so we can finish this cookbook just as the new book will be out in stores!
Posting date for the Turtle Thumbprint Cookies is Sunday, June 15th!
For the Thumbprint Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white, divided
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups pecans, toasted (page 19), finely chopped
For the Caramel Filling
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 1⁄2 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
24 to 30 whole pecans, toasted (optional, page 19)
Make the Thumbprint cookies
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, the milk, and vanilla and beat until
incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again and beat for 10 seconds. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat for 15 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Scrape the dough into a ball, wrap the bowl tightly
and refrigerate until the dough is chilled and firm, at least 1 hour. The dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the 2 egg whites until frothy. Place the pecans in a separate wide-mouthed, shallow bowl.
With clean hands, form the dough into tablespoon-size balls, taking care that they have no lumps or cracks. Dip each ball in the egg white mixture, then roll in the pecans to cover completely and place on the prepared baking sheets (if the dough starts to become too soft, refrigerate it briefly to firm it up).
Use your thumb or a small dowel to make an indentation in the center of each cookie, rocking your thumb or the dowel ever so slightly back and forth to create a larger thumbprint (to hold more caramel). Bake for 8 minutes, remove the baking sheets from the oven, and use your thumb (careful—the cookies will be hot) or the dowel to make the indentation more visible.
Return the sheets to the oven and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cookies appear set. (These are the type of cookie that can overbake very quickly—pull them out at the first sign of cracking.) Remove the pans from the oven, set the baking sheets on wire racks and make one last impression using your thumb (again, careful—the cookies will be hot) or the dowel to make a larger thumbprint. Cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely before filling them.
Make the Caramel Filling
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together all of the filling ingredients except the pecans. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring very occasionally. Once mixture starts a consistent boil, stir gently and continuously until the mixture starts to thicken and darken, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve (to remove any unsightly brown bits) into a pourable glass measuring cup or bowl.
Fill the thumbprint cookies using a spoon, a glass measuring cup, or pastry bag and allow them to set until the caramel filling is room temperature, about 45 minutes, dropping a pecan in the center of the caramel filling in each cookie about halfway through the set up time. These cookies taste great at room temperature or directly from the refrigerator. They can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.