Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4: Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Ahhh... shortbread. Sounds simple, right? Butter, sugar, and flour combine to create a flaky, buttery rich cookie. 




Of course I had to go and un-simplify it. This Turtle Shortbread takes it to another level. Caramel, pecans, and chocolate... oh my. The salty-sweet combination is always one of my favorites. (Turtle Tracks ice cream any one?)




The edges of the shortbread triangles are dipped into caramel, and then chopped pecans. The whole cookie is then drizzled with chocolate and topped with a pecan half. A little bit of work, but they turn out beautifully! 


I'm taking these to work tomorrow... hopefully they will ease the way back into the school week! (hmmm... only 13 school days until break...)

Turtle Shortbread Cookies


  • For the cookies
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the toppings
    • 2-3 cups pecan halves, separated
    • 14-oz. bag soft caramels, unwrapped
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
    • 12-oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips

Method

To prepare cookie dough:

In a small bowl, combine flour with salt. In medium bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually add flour mixture until completely incorporated.

Flatten dough into a disk shape, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least an hour until firm.

When dough is chilled, remove it from refrigerator to a floured surface. Preheat oven to 350*F. Separate dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. One at a time, roll each ball into a 1/4-inch thick circle, and cut into 6 wedges. (As you would cut a pie.) Places wedges on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 350*F oven for 8-10 minutes until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside enough pecan halves for as many cookies as you have prepared. (Somewhere between 36 to 48.) Finely chop remaining pecans. Place in a shallow bowl.

Prepare the caramel. Melt unwrapped caramels with heavy cream or milk in shallow microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds intervals, stirring between, until smooth.

Dip two edges of cookie into melted caramel, and then chopped pecans. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining cookies.

Place chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate to a zipper bag, and snip off the corner. Drizzle each cookie with chocolate, placing a large dot in the center. Place a pecan half on dot of chocolate to secure. Let chocolate harden, and serve!

Source: Adapted from Betty Crocker

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