You have room for one more cookie, right? This one's a doozy, a cream cheese dough, caramel filling, dipped in chocolate and finished with toasted coconut. Sure, there's wrapping and more shopping and visiting and getting the house ready for guests, but you know you want to make these because they aren't the kind you usually find on your typical Christmas cookie tray.
If you love those Girl Scout samoas you will be in heaven when you taste these. We were trying to think of a name and my sister said they reminded her of a confection more than a cookie. So I thought confection... candy... dandy! And there you have it.
This is my go-to dough for decorated cookies and jam filled cookies, so when I make it I make a double batch, but feel free to cut the recipe in half. However, it does keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month so it's not a bad thing to have on hand especially this time of year.
The caramel filling is super easy and it's also a good item to have around (spoiler alert: banana caramel cream pie for Christmas). We all know how to melt chocolate, so that part's covered, just sprinkle with toasted coconut and voila! you have a special cookie sure to become everybody's fave.
1 & 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the heavy cream (I usually use the microwave) just to take the chill off it and set aside. In a medium, heavy bottomed pot heat the sugar on medium high, swirling the pot occasionally. Keep an eye on it as the sugar melts. If you find that sugar crystals have collected on the side of the pot use a damp pastry brush to clean them off. You might have to help it along with a wooden spoon or a heat proof spatula but the less you touch it the better.
Once the sugar melts it will start to turn a light golden color and than a bright amber and it will smell like creme brulee. I wish I could tell you what mark to look for on a candy thermometer, but honestly I've never made this with one.
Lower the heat to medium and add the butter. Whisk until the butter is mixed in, it's going to fight you but just keep whisking gently. Once the butter is incorporated add the heavy cream and stand back as the mixture will bubble up. Whisk again until all the cream is mixed in.
Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract. Pour into a heat proof container and cool. Once cool it can be covered and stored in the fridge until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups of caramel. (Reserve left overs for other recipes.)
cookie dough (enough for 2 batches)
1 cup butter (room temperature)
5 tablespoons cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup white sugar
1 small egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 & 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
In a stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, yolk and vanilla. Mix on low to combine, scrap the bowl and beaters as needed. Add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Gather dough into two balls, flatten and wrap. Chill for at least one hour or up to a week. (One pack is enough for 32 cookies.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out 1 pack of dough and cut in half. Working with one half at a time (keep the other half chilled if it's a warm day, or warm in your kitchen), roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.
Using a round cookie cutter (I used a 1 & 1/4 inch cutter), cut out as many cookies as you can from the dough. The dough can be re-rolled twice. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. In half of the cookies cut out another, smaller circle in the center for the top cookie (I used a small decorating tip).
Bake cookies for 5 minutes. Spin the trays and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes or until they are lightly golden around the edges. (At 1/8 inch thick they tend to bake really quickly.) Makes enough for about 32 cookies.
baked cookies (tops and bottoms)
1 cup toasted coconut
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Spread the bottom cookies with about 1/2 teaspoon caramel (microwave to a spreadable consistency if necessary) and top with center cut out cookies.
Chop chocolate and melt either in the microwave on low, or on the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Dip half of the filled cookie in chocolate and place on parchment line cookie sheet. Before chocolate cools sprinkle with toasted coconut.