Caramel Pecan Treasures
This scrumptious cookie won Elaine Rysner First Place in Chicago Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest in 1991.
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
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- 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.)
- Shape scant teaspoonfuls of dough into balls about the size of a marble. Place on ungreased baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Flatten slightly.
- Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Melt chocolate chips with shortening in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Remove from heat.
- 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.)
- 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.