I know I’m a nerd when it comes to anything food related, but I look forward to Christmas Cookie Exchanges as much as I look forward to Christmas morning! My mom has attended one with her friends for years, and it’s a tradition I want to carry on each year with my friends! Last night a few friends and I hosted our first cookie exchange together! I love seeing the fun variety of cookies that everyone brings, and I, of course, love taking home a little sample of all of them! My mom would always come home with a huge tub of different cookies. She’d put them in the freezer so that we could take some out each night throughout the holidays and enjoy them for longer.
I brought these yummy Turtle Thumbprint Cookies to our party last night. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re awesome! It’s basically like a brownie bite with a caramel center, coated in pecans! YUM. They look beautiful and impressive but they’re really easy to make! You can drizzle the tops with melted chocolate, or sprinkle sea salt on top.
- For the cookies:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, separated
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
- For the Caramel:
- 2/3 cup Kraft caramel bits (or regular caramels, melted)
- 1/2 tsp water
- Combine flour, cocoa and salt. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, just until combined. Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Place chopped pecans in another shallow bowl. Remove dough from fridge and roll into small balls (however many cookies you want--I made 20 small ones).
- Roll each dough ball in the frothy egg whites, and then roll and press in the chopped pecans. Place on a greased baking sheet.
- Use the back of a small measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.
- Bake at 350 Degrees F for about 10-12 minutes, or until set.
- As the cookies come out of the oven, gently re-press the indentations with a small spoon.
- In a microwavable bowl mix the caramel bits and water. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until caramel is melted (1-2 minutes). Pour small spoonfuls of caramel into the indented cookies. *Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate (or sprinkle with sea salt)!
Adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground