These wonderful little cookies are great for any occasion, but are especially impressive for parties. They don’t require too much effort and present very well. The great thing is that they use baking cocoa for flavor, instead of chocolate chips. This creates a rich, dark chocolate taste that is just the right amount of sweetness. Pair this with the caramel center and you get a slightly sweet cookie with just a hint of savory saltiness. You can also change the size of the cookies as well as the indent, depending on how many you want to make and how much caramel you want in the center.
My girlfriend and I took these to a housewarming party and were constantly complimented, with many recipe requests. This is for those who asked, as well as anyone else who has stumbled upon my new blog. This is my first recipe of many to come and am looking forward to the journey ahead.
Food Science & Cooking Tips:
- You can replace pecans with any chopped nuts.
- Chocolate can also be microwaved in 20 second increments, stirring between, until melted
- Adjust indent size in cookies to your liking, depending on how much caramel you want in center.
I shot this late afternoon at 1/200 sec, f/ 2.0 . The lighting in my apartment is not always so well because of the placement of my window. I found that a well-directed speedlight flash can do wonders in lower light. I know a lot of people say to never use flash, which may be true for a lot of situations. However, a diffused Speedlite flash can decrease shadows and create a nice highlight in areas (notice the caramel drop). I propped these on a rectangular serving platter over a sheet of printed wrapping paper. Yes wrapping paper is great looking and easy to store backdrops. Just be careful to get ones that don’t have a shiny surface.
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Chocolate Pecan Cookies with Caramel Drops
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans, can replace with other nuts
- 1 cup baking caramel bits
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Mix butter and sugar in a bowl until combined and fluffy. Then beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla.
- In separate bowl combine cocoa, flour and salt; then slowly mix into creamed mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
- Preheat over to 350º. Roll by hand into small balls, about ¾ inch in diameter.
- In one bowl place egg white, and in another chopped pecans. Dip and coat the cookie balls in egg whites, then roll completely with pecans.
- Place on greased cookie sheet about 1 ½ apart. Use your finger to press and divot into the center of each cookie
- Bake 10-12 minutes at 350º until mostly firm and no longer shiny (the brownie toothpick test works well for doneness). Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Melt caramel bits and heavy cream in pan over low heat. Then spoon into center of cookies to create caramel mound.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Then drizzle over chocolate in desired pattern. A good quality pastry bag allows for more controlled application of chocolate