Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies and A Little Nostalgia

My husband loves Milk Duds.

Like loves them.

Personally, I find them too sweet and too chewy and too...just not my kind of candy.

That man, however, can put way some Milk Duds.

He named his cat Milk Dud long ago.

They're kind of the way to his heart.

Have we been bickering?

Was I kind of short with him on the way out the door?

Did he have a bad day at work?

Buy the man some Milk Duds.  It'll make things better.
Or at least it will be a start.  :-)

That's why I knew that I had to make these cookies!

I was perusing the Allrecipes Hall of Fame recipes in honor of their 20th Anniversary (remember I mentioned that in my Blackberry Pie post?) and I came across this recipe for Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies from the Hall of Fame 2000 recipe collection.

Ah, 2000...what was I busy doing back in 2000...
Graduating from high school, moving out on my own with my best friend, feeling very grown up, briefly attending Cal Poly before enlisting in the Air Force instead...
Good times.  Interesting times for sure.

Me circa 2000
I was definitely searching for recipes often enough (on Allrecipes and its ilk, obviously) with my best friend and roommate as we cooked meals and drank Arbor Mist and dipped our toes in the grown up waters back then.

Anyway, so I found this cookie recipe and in the Hall of Fame collection and knew it had to be made.

They're pretty basic chocolate cookies- of the crinkle top variety, not the roll-out, which makes life easy.  The dough is just wrapped around a Milk Dud, rolled in sugar, and baked.

Super easy.

The original recipe called for nuts but my daughter saw me pulling them out of the pantry and balked- so no nuts this time.  I'm sure they'd be good as originally written, but we loved them like this.

I kind of expected to enjoy these more fresh out of the oven when the caramel was at it's gooiest, but I think the consensus in our home was that- while they were good that way- they were best when completely cooled.  The caramel stays soft and they're just delightful!

1 C butter, softened
1 C white sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tesp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
3 Tbsp white sugar
48 chocolate-covered caramel candies (such as Milk Duds)

1. Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts (if using). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Combine remaining 1/2 cup nuts (if using) with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Work with one part at a time, leaving the remainder in the refrigerator until needed. Divide each part into 12 pieces. Quickly press each piece of dough around a chocolate covered caramel. Roll into a ball. Roll ball in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

3. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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