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Caramel Pecan Treasures

No recipe image available.This scrumptious cookie won Elaine Rysner First Place in Chicago Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest in 1991.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
25 to 30 soft caramels, cut in half and rolled into balls
Finely chopped pecans

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until well mixed. Stir in flour and baking powder. (If kitchen is warm, refrigerate dough for a few minutes; dough should be firm enough to roll easily.)
  3. Shape scant teaspoonfuls of dough into balls about the size of a marble. Place on ungreased baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Flatten slightly.
  4. Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  5. Melt chocolate chips with shortening in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Remove from heat.
  6. Flatten caramel halves so they are the same diameter as the cookie. Place one caramel half on top of each cookie. (If necessary, use a dab of chocolate as "glue" to help caramel adhere to cookie.)
  7. Using a small metal spatula, spread melted chocolate thinly over top and sides of caramel and cookie to cover. Press chopped pecans onto tops of cookies. Let stand on a wire rack until chocolate firms (refrigerate if desired), about 20 minutes. Place each cookie in paper bon-bon cups or similar wrappers. Store in a cookie tin with a piece of wax paper between each layer.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.