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Cookie Exchange Top Five: Salted caramel hot chocolate cookies

December 13, 2011
  • Angie Seaman of Hagerstown placed in the Top 5 in The Herald-Mail's Cookie Exchange Contest.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff photographer

Salted caramel hot chocolate cookies

1 cup butter, softened



1 1/4 cups white sugar



3/4 cup brown sugar



2 eggs



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper



1 cup cocoa powder



1 teaspoon baking soda



1/2 teaspoon salt



2 cups flour



36 chocolate-covered soft caramel candies (see cook's note)



1 cup finely chopped pecans (see cook's note)



1 tablespoon coarse sea salt







Cream together butter, and white and brown sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, blending well after each.



Add cayenne and blend very well to distribute evenly throughout cookie batter. Add cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend well.



Add flour and blend until just mixed.



Scoop cookies in rounded teaspoons or with a cookie scoop. Push chocolate-covered caramel candy into the center of dough ball and ensure cookie dough is completely wrapped in dough.



Mix chopped pecans and sea salt in a small bowl. Dip half of dough ball into pecan mixture. Place dough balls nut side up on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Chill for one hour.



Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes.



Makes about 36 cookies.



Cook's note: Angie Seaman uses Hershey's Rolo Carmels in Milk Chocolate for this recipe. She suggests candied pecans as an alternative to regular pecans.



— Angie Seaman of Hagerstown

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