Tag Archives: caramel

Fourteenth Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprints

Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprints_thumb[7]

Welcome to the 14th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies!

DAY 1: Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprints

A soft peanut butter cookie, filled with homemade caramel, drizzled with dark chocolate, and then sprinkled with chopped peanuts.

If you like Snickers candy bars, you will love these cookies!

Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprints 3

The homemade caramel filling makes more caramel than you will need for 1 batch of cookies. Once I open a can of sweetened condensed milk, I like to use the whole thing, so I always make a full batch of the caramel filling. You could halve the caramel recipe or make 2 batches of the peanut butter cookie dough, but I usually use part of the caramel in this recipe and the rest to make Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints. It is also great drizzled over ice cream or pie.

Caramel Peanut Butter Thumbprints 4

While we are cooking and baking this Christmas season, I hope that you will also remember that in addition to needing cookies, The World Needs Your Light!

What Is #LightTheWorld? | Light the World 2021



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Salted Caramel Sauce

A delicious homemade salted caramel sauce that makes a perfect dip for apples or other fruit, and an amazing topping on ice cream and so many other desserts.

The caramel can be kept at room temperature for several weeks. If it thickens too much to drizzle, heat in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir.

Here are a few things to try your caramel sauce on:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Banana Cream Pie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart

Apple Pie

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Vanilla Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Waffles

Cream Puffs

Gingerbread Cookie Bars


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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Twix Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Twix Stuffed Chocolate Cookies 2

DAY 3: Twix Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

What to do when you still have leftover Halloween candy and it is time to start your Christmas baking? Repurpose that candy by wrapping it in chocolate cookie dough and baking to perfection.

Optional: drizzle cooled cookies with additional caramel sauce.

Twix Stuffed Chocolate Cookies 1


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Eleventh Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

DAY 2: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

A chocolate cookie loaded full of sweet and salty goodness: chocolate chips, pretzels, and pecans. All wrapped around a gooey caramel center.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod


Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
1 pkg (11 oz) caramel squares (about 24)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into butter/sugar mixture, until just mixed. Stir in pretzels, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Cut caramel squares in half and set aside.

Using a cookie scoop, place level scoops of dough on baking sheets, about 2” apart. Roll each scoop of dough around a caramel square half. Return to baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes; cookies will still look slightly underdone. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod



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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 1

DAY 12: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Four of my five children voted this cookie as their favorite all-time Christmas cookie.

I like to make these cookies with a homemade caramel filling. With a candy thermometer, the caramel filling comes together quickly and turns a good cookie into a fabulous one!

You can also make the filling with melted packaged caramels. If you want to take the “easy” route and buy a bag of Kraft Caramels, that recipe can be found HERE.

Here is my tip for getting a good deep pocket for all of that amazing caramel: Use the back of a rounded measuring spoon and press it into the center of each cookie. I use a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon on the raw cookie dough before baking:

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 2

Then I use  a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon on the hot, baked cookie. (The cookies do spread a little when they are baked, leaving a larger opening). This is a good alternative to actually using (and burning) your thumbs.

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 3


      (2017): Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Homemade Caramel Filling

     (2009): Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Filling made from Packaged Caramels


Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints 1

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
¼ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Homemade Caramel Filling (recipe below)

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs corn syrup

Prepare Cookies: Combine butter, sugar, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat until well combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place egg whites in a small bowl. Place finely chopped pecans in a bowl. Set aside. Roll dough into balls. Dip balls into egg white and then into pecans. (I find this easier if I make a whole baking sheet worth of dough balls, then dip them in egg/pecans). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make a small indentation in the center of each cookie with the back of measuring spoon (I use a ½ teaspoon) or your thumb.

Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes, or until cookies are set.

While cookies are still hot, press center again (use the back of a round 1 teaspoon measuring spoon). Cool.

Prepare Caramel Filling (recipe below).
Spoon small amount of warm caramel into centers of baked cookies. Carefully remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Prepare Chocolate Glaze: Combine bittersweet chips, butter, and corn syrup in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 20-30 seconds if not melted. Let cool slightly. Pour chocolate into a small Ziploc freezer bag. Poke a hole in the corner of the bag (a bamboo skewer makes a perfect sized hole). Drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies. Cool until set.

To store: refrigerate or freeze cookies in individual layers; then store between layers of waxed paper in the refrigerator or freezer. They can also be stored at room temperature, but if you stack them, they will stick together.

Homemade Caramel Filling

1 cup unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt

Combine butter, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a low but continuous simmer, until caramel reaches 235°F (soft ball stage), stirring occasionally. This will take about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.


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Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Rolo and Andes Mint Cookies

Andes and Rolo Cookies

DAY 7:  Andes & Rolo Cookies

This recipe is a great “two-fer”. You can make two completely different cookies from the same basic chocolate dough.

The Rolo Cookies have a Rolo candy nestled inside of the chocolate dough. Eat them warm for a delicious gooey caramel cookie.

Rolo Cookies (2)

The Andes Cookies have a melted Andes mint swirled on the top of a baked chocolate cookie.

The original recipe uses regular Andes, but when I make these I prefer the Andes Parfait mints, that have 2 green layers on the outside and a chocolate middle layer. It makes a nice contrast with the chocolate cookie. Unfortunately, they are sometimes hard to find in stores.

Andes Cookies 2

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2009): Chocolate Rolo or Andes Cookies


Chocolate Rolo or Andes Cookies

Rolo Cookies (2)

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugarclip_image002
2 Tbs water
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups flourclip_image002[1]
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
Rolos (5-6 dozen)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine butter, sugar and water. Heat until melted and add chocolate chips. Stir until mostly melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Pour mixture into large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Beat in eggs one at a time on high speed. Add flour, salt and baking soda; mix on low speed until well blended. Dough will be very soft, almost liquid. If desired, chill for 1 hour for easier handling (you can usually use the dough in less than an hour).

Take about 1 Tbs dough and wrap it around a Rolo (use just enough dough to completely cover Rolo). Place on baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes (Do not overcook; cookies will still look a little underdone). Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies

.Andes Cookies 2

Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies:

Chocolate Dough (see recipe above)
About 24 Andes mints (see note below)

Prepare dough as above (for Rolo cookies). Roll into 1” balls and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Place half of an Andes mint  on top of each hot cookie. Allow to melt slightly and then swirl with a toothpick.

NOTE: The original recipe uses regular Andes, but when I make these I prefer the Andes Parfait, that have 2 green layers on the outside and a chocolate middle layer. It makes a nice contrast with the chocolate cookie.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

(Original Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies recipe from Recipezaar)


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