Salted Caramel Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup (150g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup (108g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Morton Fine Sea Salt or table salt
  • 2 tsp real coconut extract
  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
  • Filling
  • 28 soft caramels (8 oz, 226g), such as Kraft
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • Morton Coarse Sea Salt, for topping
  • For the cookies:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Add coconut to a small mixing bowl. Add egg to a separate small mixing bowl and whisk well until blended. Set aside.
  • Add butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (preferably one that constantly scrapes bowl while mixing, if not stop and scrape down bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process). Sprinkle fine salt evenly over butter and sugar then mix on medium-low speed until well combined (don't mix until pale and fluffy, just until it's well blended and there aren't clumps of butter). Mix in coconut extract. With mixer on low speed slowly add in flour and mix just until combined.
  • Scoop dough out in 1 even tablespoon at a time and shape into balls. Roll each dough ball in egg mixture then in coconut mixture (press coconut onto cookies to help it stick better). Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets spacing at least 1-1/2 inches apart. Make indentation in each cookie with thumb or forefinger. Transfer baking sheet to freezer and chill for 10 minutes, or refrigerate 30 minutes. Transfer 1 baking sheet to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and re-indent cookies using the back of a rounded 1/2 teaspoon (at this point, if the coconut is browning too much your oven probably cooks too hot, but you can just tent the cookies with foil and proceed as directed). Return cookies to oven and continue to bake 6 - 9 minutes longer until the coconut is golden brown on edges and cookies have baked through. Cool on pan for several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the caramel filling:
  • Add caramel to a medium microwave safe bowl. Pour in cream. Heat mixture in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between intervals until melted and smooth (at this point if it's really runny you can let it cool for a a minute or two for easier handling). Spoon caramel into indentations in cookies. Sprinkle caramel lightly with sea salt before it starts to set. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
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