Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
So were you prepared for Thanksgiving? Did you pull your stretchy pants and adult bibs out of storage? Did you participate in all of the carb loading and day drinking?
We spent Thanksgiving in Florida this year which means I sucked in my post-dinner turkey gut while laying poolside at my parents’ house in 80 degree weather. Nothing begs for a bikini like 3 days of power eating and a body that hasn’t seen the sun since early august. Gag.
Traveling home is always a breath of fresh air and vacation from my long list of daily responsibilities. My mom graciously steps in as part-time caregiver of my babies, laundry folder, coffee maker, and dish washer, and still manages time to hang out as my BFF. Even just typing it out brings me a sigh of relief. She’s an amazing Superwoman/Mary Poppins gem of a woman and I can’t believe I get to call her mom. While my mom is busy doing all of my jobs, I get to play in the kitchen. This setup works well for both parties, as I get a break from mama duties and my family gets to taste test all of the treats I’m working on for the blog. This year, I was scheduled to participate in the #holidaycookieparty2016, a virtual and real life cookie exchange that Rebecca set up for a few fellow bloggers, so my family got to try out these espresso caramel thumbprint cookies.
My husband is a huge fan of thumbprint cookies. His mom made the traditional jelly filled thumbprint cookies when he was growing up, so when I told him about the cookie exchange, he immediately called for some thumbprints. These espresso caramel thumbprint cookies are sugar dusted chocolate cookies with an espresso caramel filling and a dark chocolate drizzle. The cookie dough is scented with espresso which really helps that coffee flavor to go the extra mile. The caramel is thick, gooey, and decadent- so much so that you won’t mind having an extra cup or two to drizzle on your apple pie and ice cream leftovers from Thanksgiving.
Cookies this beautiful may seem a bit intimidating, but once you have the elements prepared, they’re actually pretty simple to make! This is a great recipe to join your kiddos or other little helpers in to the kitchen to lend a hand. Plus, at a time of year when cookies are king and everyone needs a fun recipe to bring to holiday cocktail parties, you’ll want to have these espresso caramel cookies ready to share.
I hope your Thanksgiving was delicious and joyful, and I also hope you’ll give these espresso caramel cookies a try! Be sure to check out the recipes from the other bloggers participating in the holiday cookie exchange below! Many thanks to Rebecca for hosting this little cookie rodeo, and cheers to you!
Holiday Cookie Exchange 2016
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sparkling sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and espresso powder. Stir to combine and continue preparing the dough.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the cream/vanilla/espresso mixture and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Scoop out 2 teaspoons sized (about 3/4 inch balls) of dough and roll in hands into a ball. Toss the balls in the sugar until well coated and then place them about 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using the rounded back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, lightly press "thumbprints" in the centers of each ball to create a cratered round of dough. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently pat dough the centers of the puffed dough with the measuring spoon again if needed to maintain a cratered center. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Stir to combine the heavy cream and espresso powder in a measuring cup. Set aside
- Evenly spread the sugar in the bottom of a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally while the sugar is melting, incorporating all the clumps of sugar. After about 6-7 minutes, the sugar should have evenly melted. Allow to brown to a dark amber color and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter chunks and stir until melted and combined. Next, carefully add the heavy cream in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute and then remove from the burner. Stir in the salt and the pour into a heat proof container (I use a mason jar) and allow to cool.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside once melted.
- Fill each round of cookie with caramel (about 1/2 teaspoon). Melt caramel in 15 second intervals in the microwave, if needed, in order to get to the best consistency. Allow the caramel to set up slightly before drizzling with the melted chocolate.