Friday, January 8, 2016

Caramel Macaroon Thumbprint Cookies

Or, what I wish Caramel deLites were.

Tea for two, and two for tea...
These cookies are almost candy. And they're made especially easy by the purchase of dulce de leche, a confection of boiled sweetened condensed milk sent by the gods. It's in a can, right next to the sweetened condensed milk, and for basically no extra charge they caramelize it for you.

You make basic coconut macaroons and form into disks, except after baking you push a little well into the center and fill it with delicious dulce de leche. A drizzle of chocolate seals the deal and will make you the most popular kid in high school.

If you've never made macaroons, this is a great chance to try. They're not too tricky, and the ingredient list is short. You start with egg whites, sugar, and flavorings (salt and vanilla), and whisk it until frothy. Then just dump in the coconut, shape, and bake!

Of course, if you're looking for extra credit, extra flavor, or extra fanciness, you can lightly toast the coconut before mixing it in. A billion points extra credit, as one of my professors likes to say.

Also pictured: "guard" dog Sally, in the background, watching for intruders
Whatever adventure you pick, these are quick cookies that look fancy. They're chewy and sweet and sticky and everything wonderful. Make a batch, make some friends!

Caramel Macaroon Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: About 24 cookies


  • 3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can dulce de leche (available by the sweetened condensed milk or in the hispanic foods section)
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking sheets, or foil and nonstick spray.
  2. On one of the baking sheets, put coconut. Toast in the oven 5-7 minutes, or until just starting to color around the edges. Let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until frothy and completely combined. Add coconut and stir to combine. If it seems like there's a lot of extra liquid, add some more coconut (I didn't do this and some of mine were too soppy) until the mixture doesn't have extra liquid in the bowl.
  4. Scoop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass (dipping your hands and the glass in water help keep them from sticking) and shape into nice round disks.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown around the edges. Immediately after taking out of the oven, use two small spoons or your thumb to press an indentation in the middle of each cookie.
  6. Melt about half a cup of dulce de leche in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then spoon into the divots. I didn't do this but I wish I had!
  7. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second bursts. Use a fork to drizzle over cookies.
  8. Serve with tea or as dessert! Cookies keep stored in an airtight container for 4 or 5 days, but they sure didn't last that long in my house.
Inspired by Bakers Royale, recipe from the Kitchn

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