I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving Celebration. We took several photos to share, but they are spread out amongst various cameras and the whole family is spread out right now too (I actually have the house entirely to myself right now - a truly rare occurance!), which means I'll have to save that post for another day. So in the meantime...
Recently, Callye of www.sweetsugarbelle.com posted a link to a Pillsbury recipe for these Salted Caramel Thumbprints http://www.pillsburybaking.com/recipes/details/5792. Thumbprints are one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookie and the idea of salted caramel instead of mint or current jelly (that I wouldn't feel I had to save to make for Christmas only) was a combination I knew I just had to try so I printed it out immediately! This past Wednesday afternoon, my niece-daughter, Amanda and I made them party because I knew I wasn't going to have time to make 2 kinds of pie and...well, mostly I just wanted to try them... Here's the results:
I promised to share my failures on this blog as well as my successes and while these were by no means and "epic" fail, they aren't entirely a success either. For the good - they are delicious! The recipe calls for using almond extract and I think that's one of the highlights. Also, I did swap out dulce de leche (thanks Callye) for the caramel topping (which I discovered is just about the best, creamiest, richest caramel ever). The flavor and texture of these cookies is really great. Just crunchy enough on the outside, just chewy enough in the middle, and not too sweet thanks to not only the pecans but the salt too.
For the not-so-good - the recipe is supposed to make 6 dozen cookies we clearly made ours too big because we only made 2 dozen. I did use my absolute smallest cookie scoop, for the sake of consistency and though it was small enough, but they were way too big and they spread out a lot - so they didn't come out as pretty as I'd like.
You'll notice the recipe calls for a package of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Mix (readily available in my local grocery store right now - probably through Christmas, then no more until next Thanksgiving). I noticed that my favorite Betty Crocker thumbprint cookie recipe (the one I make every Christmas-time) does not call for any baking powder or baking soda & I suspect this has something to do with the spreading of the cookies too - since they spread just like a typical drop cookie would, and those usually call for baking soda, at a minimum.
My wheels are already turnin' on base recipes I can tweak to make these from scratch in the future. The sugar cookie flavor (with the almond extract instead of vanilla) does work really well for these and so I'll stick with those flavors, but I'd like to be able to make them without having to rely on the availability of the mix. I'm already thinking about a different variation too, but I'll keep that under my hat for now, while I go have another cookie!