These cookies turned out beautifully for a Christmas Baking Exchange that I participated in. There were eight of us ladies involved in the exchange and I will be posting pictures of some of the other goodies that were brought.
1 cup hard margarine or butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
bag of caramels (about 40)
2 tbsp milk
Pecan halves (approx 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
Cream margarine and sugars in large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Combine next four ingredients in separate large bowl. Add to margarine mixture in 4 additions, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains. Divide dough in half, shape into a ball and flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours. (I put mine into a covered bowl and chilled overnight.) Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness (I found the dough to be quite sticky and had to use a fair amount of flour to roll it out). Using a round cookie cutter or a drinking glass cut out circles. Roll out scraps to cut out more circles. Arrange 2 inches apart (make sure to leave this space as they spread out a fair amount) on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in 350 degree oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are just lightly golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cool cookie sheets between batches. Repeat with remaining dough.
Unwrap and place caramels in a heavy saucepan. Add milk. Heat and stir on medium-low until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Reduce heat to low to keep warm. Makes about 1 cup of topping. Spread 1 tsp on each cookie, leaving a 1/4 inch edge.
****Here's where I had a bit of an adventure. I decided to try making my own caramel sauce. It starts with cooking sugar and water until it starts to turn golden. My first batch burned because I think I had the heat too high. The second batch did not work because I think I had the heat too low. The water kept cooking off before the sugar could start to turn color. Then I decided to use caramel ice cream topping instead. ****Ice cream topping is fine to use if you are NOT transporting the cookies. Since these were for an exchange I actually had a really hard time packaging them as the caramel and the chocolate drizzle would not dry enough to prevent smearing. ****Next time I will try melting the caramels.
Place 1 pecan half on top of caramel. Let stand until set. May be chilled to speed setting.
Heat the whipping cream in a double boiler until warmed, then add the chocolate chips. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for about ten minutes. Spoon into a piping bag or into a resealable freezer bag with a tiny piece snipped off the corner. Drizzle the chocolate in a decorative pattern over each cookie. Let stand until set.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
I used the caramel ice cream topping but if I make these again I will use the melted caramels.
Adding the chocolate with a fine tip.
Now to package them for delivery...
I could only put six on a plate in order to avoid the caramel and chocolate from smearing everywhere.