Picture this. The most amazing soft and chewy chocolate cookie rolled in pecans or peanuts and filled with a sweet, sticky caramel or peanut butter filling. Ahhhmazing, right?? You want those right now, right??
Well, what are you waiting for?? Scroll down for that goodness!
Since we’re still pretty new to Austin (7 weeks today) and haven’t met a few of the neighbors around us, I wanted to make some cookies to bring over to their houses. These technically aren’t “Christmas” cookies, but in my mind anything that’s sweet, in the shape of the cookie, and still tastes good around Christmastime is INDEED a Christmas cookie.
Don’t let people tell you otherwise. Just because it’s not in the shape of a reindeer or doesn’t have red and green nonpareils coating the surface, it still passes in my book with flying colors!
These little guys aren’t hard to make, but I want to give you a heads up that they’re more time consuming than your average chocolate chip cookie. You can make them in stages though! That’s what I did. Make the dough the night before and let it chill out in the fridge. Then in the morning you can do the rolling and baking and caramel drizzling. Not too bad! Then you’ll be so excited to eat one that you forget how many you’ve allotted for your neighbors, and they end up getting 8 each instead of 9… oops.
The original recipe I found was for the caramel and pecan combination, but we’re big peanut butter fans in our house, so I adapted and added a peanut element to half of them. It’s the same base cookie, but they’re rolled in crushed peanuts and dolloped with a peanut butter and cream mixture instead of the caramel. Both of them are fabulous, but if you want to save a teeny bit of time, maybe just start with one of the variations.
It was destiny that you came across these little babies tonight. You know you need them….
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks butter , softened
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, yolk and white separated
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 15 caramels (such as Kraft)
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup finely chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- flaky salt (kosher or sea salt)
- With an electric mixer, whip butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk (with whites set aside for later), vanilla, and buttermilk. Turn off mixer and add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix on low speed until ingredients just come together. Be careful not to overmix.
- Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap then place in fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk remaining egg whites until frothy, then shape dough into 1 inch balls (18-20 grams each). Coat dough ball in egg white, taking care to shake off excess egg white, then roll ball into chopped nuts (either pecans or peanuts). Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet and make a deep indentation in the middle of each dough ball with your thumb.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, then using a small teaspoon, press down on the thumbprint indentation (to create a bigger space for filling).
- Cool on wire rack.
- Place caramels and 2 ½ tablespoons of cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat mixture on HIGH in 30 second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth. Do the same with the peanut butter and 2 ½ tablespoons of cream. Spoon into cookie indentations. I prefer the caramel with the pecan cookies and the peanut butter with the peanut. Enjoy!