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posted: 5/28/2013 6:00 AM

Chocolate Caramel Delights

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  • Darlene Pawlukowsky's caramel-filled chocolate cookies are a favorite among family and friends.

       Darlene Pawlukowsky's caramel-filled chocolate cookies are a favorite among family and friends.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 

cup butter, softened

cup sugar

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2 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, melted

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon salt

cup finely chopped hazelnuts

16 milk caramels

2 tablespoons whipping cream

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips

In a large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until creamy and then add sugar and mix until well blended. Add melted chocolate and egg yolk, beating until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour, soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating well. Cover and chill dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two or three cookie sheets.

When ready to bake, bring dough to room temperature. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in chopped hazelnuts. (If you want a heavy coating of nuts, you can coat the ball with the egg white, letting excess drip off, and then roll in nuts). Place balls 1-inches on prepared pans. Press thumb gently in center of balls to flatten, leaving a depression. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, combine caramels and whipping cream in top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir until mixture is melted and smooth.

Remove cookies from oven and cool slightly; press center of each cookie again. Quickly spoon caramel mixture into the depression in each cookie. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

Melt 2/3 cup chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Cool to warm and then pour into a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal and snip a tiny hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over cookies and let stand until set, about 30 minutes.

Makes 24-30 cookies.

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