So, I needed to cook. I had bought the ingredients for this recipe (originally from Just A Taste) last weekend. Okay, that’s not quite true. The ingredients I had bought were to make coconut macaroons (I think I’m craving coconut), but when a package from home had homemade caramels in it, I knew I had to try this recipe. Basically, I think I have a new favorite cookie recipe. I used leftover holiday caramels and they worked perfectly and eliminated the artificial flavor in store-bought caramels. Mine turned out a similar size to doughnuts, but I used makeshift cookie cutters, so at least they were all the same size. I didn’t quite have enough caramel, so I have some leftover shortbread cookies to do something else with. I’ve also been having a blast learning how to take better pictures. I absolutely love the lighting and backdrop in my brother and his wife’s house. Any time from about 9-2ish has great lighting on their dining room table. I really should take advantage of this for the remaining two months I’m living here…
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons half and half (or milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups coconut (shredded, sweetened)
15 ounces caramels (I used leftover homemade ones from Christmas)
3 tablespoons milk (plus additional milk or half and half)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Chocolate (dark was recommended, but whatever you want)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar together. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and add to creamed mixture in two or three increments. Add milk and vanilla and blend until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and press into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Toast coconut in the oven, stirring literally every 2 minutes at first and then every minute for about 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Dump out on parchment paper to cool and stop cooking process. Transfer to bowl once cooled.
Roll out cold dough to 1/8 inch and cut out doughnut style, I didn’t have my nice cookie cutter set, so I had to find makeshift cookie cutters… Bake for 10 minutes or until pale golden brown. Cool completely. Seriously, this makes a difference because the cookies won’t fall apart.
Melt caramels in a double boiler with half and half and salt until completely melted. Stir all but about 1/4 cup into the coconut and stir.
Spoon cookies with remaining caramel sauce. If caramel sets too much, return to heat and add a little more milk or cream. With a spoon or your fingers (fingers are easier, but stickier), spread the coconut over the caramel and press down until evenly distributed. Let set for about 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate. Dip the bottom of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Transfer leftover chocolate into a Ziploc bag and drizzle chocolate over the top of the cookies. Let set until chocolate hardens (haha, this takes FOREVER!!).