Saturday, December 15, 2012

Samoa Thumbprints

Samoa Thumbprint Cookies - made December 8, 2012, recipe adapted from Great Cookies by Carole Walter

I've been traveling all week for work and stepped off a plane after an 11 1/2 hour flight to the news of what happened in Connecticut.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the adults and children killed in the tragedy and their families.  Hug your loved ones and do something kind for someone.  It's the only coping mechanism I've found against senseless violence.

(Written before my travels): I liked how the Chocolate Turtle Thumbprints turned out so much that I started to obsess a bit on making other thumbprint combinations.  The most common one is probably peanut butter thumbprints filled with jam or jelly but I don't like jam or jelly so I started thinking about other flavor combinations.  I know I wanted to make a non-chocolate cookie and I still like caramel as the filling in the well of the cookie but I wanted something a little "more" than just a vanilla cookie/caramel combo. I also wanted to roll the cookie in something other than almonds or pecans.  Toasted coconut was the obvious choice and from there it was easy to leap to a samoa combination: a brown sugar cookie rolled in toasted coconut, filled with caramel and drizzled with chocolate.
I started out with Carole Walter's thumbprint cookie recipe but modified hers to include brown sugar for a more caramelized flavor.  I brushed the cookie dough balls with egg white then rolled them in toasted coconut.  Half the dough balls I used a 1/2 teaspoon measure to make an indentation and for the other half, I used the end of the handle of a wooden spoon.  The wooden spoon handle makes a narrower deeper indent.  Then I froze the dough at that point. These turned out pretty well.  They didn't spread much which is what I was most concerned about and the toasted coconut coating provided a nice texture contrast to the cookie and the caramel.  When using caramel bits (or caramels) melted with milk, go a little more generous with the milk to make sure the caramel stays soft even after it sets.  The last thing you want is your caramel to be too chewy at room temperature.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly firm
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites for coating, beaten until frothy
Toasted coconut, crumbled and in a shallow bowl
Caramel (homemade or caramels melted with a little milk)
Melted milk or dark chocolate for piping

1.    In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed until smooth.  Pour in the sugars and mix just until incorporated.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla, mixing only until blended.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and salt in two additions, mixing just to combine after each addition.
2.    Roll the dough into small balls.  Dip into frothy egg whites then roll in toasted coconut.  Using the handle end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the center of the dough ball.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Chill until firm, at least an hour, or place in freezer bags and freeze until needed.
3.    When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.  Place cookies evenly apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake until lightly golden, about 14-15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  If indentations are no longer as pronounced, gently re-impress them with the rounded side of a ½ teaspoon measure.
4.     Let cool completely.  When cookies are cooled, fill indentations with melted caramel.  Pipe thin lines of melted chocolate over cookie.  Sprinkle with additional toasted coconut if desired.

What's cooking, love?

1 comment:

  1. These look amazing, I love the caramel and chocolate touch too. If you don't mind, I'd love if you'd link these up (and any other dessert creations) on Sugar & Slice Sunday link party. Each week Sunday-Thursday.

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking