Beautiful to look at - better to eat - these may appear as though you took all day to make them but that is only an optical illusion. Just a few different ingredients than the traditional thumb-print cookie, these will surely have you taking bows long after the last cookie has been consumed by happy guests.
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose
1 egg white
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups salted cashews, chopped
1 ½-2 cups dulce de leche (depending on how much you fill, see recipe below)
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg, vanilla extract, and salt to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until fully combined.
- Add in flour, beat on low until fully combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a fork, beat together egg white and water in a small bowl. Place cashews in a separate bowl.
- Remove dough from fridge and shape into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in egg white, allowing excess to drip off. Roll dough balls in cashews to coat.
- Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Using a 1-tsp measure, or your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie.
When cookies are cool, pipe dulce de leche into the indentations. I like to make little stars for the holidays.
Dulce de Leche
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Fill a large stockpot with cold water. Remove the label from the can of milk, and do not open the can. Place the can in the center of the pot; be sure that the water completely covers the can.
CAUTION: The can becomes pressurized when cooking, so for safety reasons, don't allow the water to boil vigorously. Simmer gently for about 1 1/2-2 hours for runny dulce de leche, or up to 4 hours for more solid consistency, adding more water, as necessary, when the water level decreases.
Remove the can with tongs, and cool 15-20 minutes. Carefully pierce the top with a can opener. The tan or brown caramel will ooze slightly from the can when opening. Transfer to an air-tight container, with the lid off, to cool completely. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.